In antitrust case against SoftBank-owned Fortress, Apple allies with Intel

Recap: Intel made it clear last month that he was ready to go to war with Fortress, an investment arm owned by SoftBank. The war on the litigation stems from lawsuits brought against Intel for patent infringement. For his part, the chip maker claims that Fortress has stored patents in an unlawful andanti-competitive manner. Intel appeared perfectly willing to challenge the patents of Fortress in court alone, but with Apple joining the fray, it has now acquired a powerful ally.

Apple and Intel entered the case against the SoftBank-controlled Fortress Investment Group, following last month’s initial Intel complaint against Fortress. The initial case of Intel has now been withdrawn and replaced by a new complaint naming Apple as a defendant.

The new lawsuit repeats the first one’s claims, but adds a new collection of Apple patents and grievances. Specifically, Apple alleges that to respond to the repeated nuisance suits of these groups, it has “suffered economic harm in the form of litigation costs and diverting resources away from innovation.”

Apple also states that Fortress-related companies brought at least 25 cases against the company seeking damages ranging from $2.6B to $5.1B. Now, with the intention of suing other technology companies, Apple and Intel respond to Fortress in unison, accusing Fortress of anti-competitive and illegal patent aggregation. We are searching for the following, as Anandtech notes:

a) Infringement of Article 1 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1; Section 7 of the Clayton Act, 15 U.S.C. § 18; and Cal. Coach. Prov. Code Section 17200, et seq.;

b) that Intel and Apple shall recover damages against defendants in the amount to be determined and multiplied to the extent provided for by law, including in accordance with Article 4 of the Clayton Act;

c) That all contracts or arrangements are in breach of the Sherman Act, Clayton Act or Cal. Coach. Prov. Code Section 17200, et seq. Be found invalid and patents protected by such transfer agreements shall be transferred back to the transferors;

d) that all patents pass to the defendant in violation of the Sherman Act, Clayton Act or Cal. Train, that’s it. Prov. Code Section 17200, et seq. Be ruled unenforceable;

e) award to Intel and Apple, together with interest, their costs and expenses in connection with this case; and

f) grant such other and additional relief as the Court may find reasonable and necessary in the circumstances.

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