According to a news source, recent Apple filings with the U.S. Supreme Court and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) include details about the law suits in which the company has been targeted by “patent assertion entities” (PAEs). It has apparently defended 92 PAE lawsuits during the past three years and has received many more demands. In an amicus brief submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court in a case involving when fees should be awarded in patent cases, Apple apparently reported that of the 92 cases filed, Apple agreed to settle most that have closed. In this regard, the company stated, “the opening line of many negotiations is some form of, ‘What we’re asking for is less than it will cost you to litigate this case to judgment.’ It should come as no surprise, then, that despite its success in litigating the merits, for business purposes Apple has agreed to a settle- ment in 51 of the 57 closed cases.”
In comments to an FTC proposed information collection on PAEs, Apple reportedly indicated that it is a favorite PAE target: “No firm has been targeted by PAEs more than Apple,” the company wrote. “PAEs are inter- mediaries. Because they do not invent, make, or sell any product, they profit only when they can turn a patent acquired at a certain price into a larger stream of royalties. In other words, returns from patent assertions must outstrip costs of patent acquisitions. And judging by the industry’s astronomical growth, many PAEs have figured out how to make this work.” See Arts Technica, February 9, 2014.