After looking at what companies get sued for patent infringement, it’s easy to see why Apple plans to work with Google on patent reform.
Lex Machina recently released a report that showed Apple was sued for patent infringement 59 times last year. Amazon came in a close second, after being on the receiving end of 50 new patent lawsuits. The rest of the top 10 companies most targeted by patent litigation is a who’s who of the tech world, with Google drawing 39 lawsuits, and Microsoft pulling in 35.
All of those lawsuits are a part of the more than 6,000 patent suits filed last year. That’s up more than 12 percent from 2012, when litigants filed slightly more than 5,400 patent lawsuits. As more companies try to make money off an intellectual property portfolio, the number of patent lawsuits is sure to rise, unless the U.S. finds a way to limit patent litigation.
Bellevue-based Intellectual Ventures, the patent holding firm founded by former Microsoft CTO Nathan Myhrvold, also found its way onto one Lex Machina’s leaderboards. Intellectual Ventures I and II asserted 100 and 81 distinct patents in suits last year, putting it in second and third place for most patents under trial last year. But for all the patents IV is claiming infringement on, it didn’t make it into the list of the top 10 companies filing new patent infringement suits in 2013.
IV is also in interesting company on the list of companies with the most patents asserted: its fellow litigants include Apple, Motorola Mobility, Ericsson and Pfizer.