Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) was recently listed in the list of frequent targets for patent lawsuits. This report comes from Lex Machina, a legal analysis company based in Menlo Park, Calif.
Apple’s patent lawsuits
The company took a look at 6,092 patent infringement lawsuits in which they discovered ten companies that were responsible for nearly 13% of the lawsuits. Three of those companies filed over 100 lawsuits each.
Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) is also on the list of those most frequently sued. Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) is the fourth company on the list. The search giant is also encouraging lawmakers to make necessary changes to discourage patent owners who rely on litigation settlements from other companies. Congress is looking at multiple proposals. In addition, the Supreme Court has about six of these cases in the current term. At least one of those cases is in regards to patent litigation.
Engine Advocacy’s executive director Julie Samuels explained, “When you’re talking about hundreds of thousands of software patents sitting out there in the world, you need a very small percentage of them to cause real damage.”
A growth in lawsuits
The number of lawsuits has grown by 12% since 2012. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) was sued about 59 times. Bloomberg Businessweek elaborated on the matter. A Luxembourg-based company which owns a range of patents for vehicle notification and tracking systems is one of the patent owners that starts a lot of litigations. Together with the firm’s partner Melvino Technologies, Ltd., the company filed a total of 137 patent infringement lawsuits in 2013. If there was not an agreement reached that summer to stop demanding royalties from transit agencies, there may have been a higher number of lawsuits.
The rise in lawsuits can be attributed to changes that took place three years ago. Prior to those changes, companies could file one lawsuit against a dozen companies. Now the rulings require defendents to be related in one way or another.