Apple’s pile of money is patent trolls’ favorite target

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The lesser-spotted patent troll.
The lesser-spotted patent troll.
Photo: Andrew Becraft/Flickr CC

A whopping 9 out of 10 patent lawsuits filed against tech companies in the first half of 2015 were brought by NPEs (non-practicing enterprises, a.k.a patent trolls), a new report reveals.

Thanks to its status as the world’s most valuable company, Apple was the number one target of these attempted lawsuits — with the Eastern District of Texas being the favored location for patent trials on account of their tendency to side with trolls and award large sums of damages.

Patent Troll Blackberry Says Ryan Seacrest’s Typo Keyboard Is “Deliberate Copy”

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Blackberry — which recently celebrated the notable achievement of a zero percent marketshare in the smartphone space — has turned into a patent troll now. In suing Ryan Seacrest’s Typo iPhone Keyboard case (which gives the iPhone a physical QWERTY style keyboard which can be slide onto the screen when necessary) now claims that it is a “deliberate” copy of Blackberry that violates three patents.

Patent Trolls Like The Taste Of Apple More Than Anything Else

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Hobbler-trolls

Patent trolls are everywhere these days, swaming over the hills of Silicon Valleys on the back of their patent wargs. Everyone is dealing with the frivolous lawsuits patent trolls make a living bringing against any technology company that experiences even a modicum of success, but hey, go figure: ultimately, patent trolls are more interested in suing Apple than anyone else.

President Obama Goes To War Against Patent Trolls

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The term “patent troll” tends to be thrown around a lot when talking about Apple, Samsung, et al.’s endless patent litigation, but there’s a big difference between companies trying to protect their patent profiles in court and the sort of trolls who exist for no other reason than to sue other companies for violations on overly broad patents that they aren’t using, stifling innovation (for example, notorious in-app patent troll Lodsys).

Reforms to the patent system to neuter patent trolls is something that have been called for for years, but it seems like President Obama is finally doing something. The White House has just announced that they are taking on the patent troll problem with seven new legislative proposal. But even if Congress won’t budge? Obama says he’s going to take five executive actions to thwart patent trolls, which he can do even without congressional approval.