US District Judge Edward Chen in San Francisco allows Apple and Intel to revise and refile antitrust complaint alleging that Softbank’s Fortress Investment Group is backing a network of small companies that drive up the cost of technological innovation by filing a myriad of meritless lawsuits to protect vast portfolios of “weak” patents.
In March, antitrust enforcers in the Justice Department (DOJ) urged a judge to dismiss claims by Apple and Intel that a SoftBank Group subsidiary violated competition laws by stockpiling patents and demanding billions of dollars in licensing fees.
Intel and Apple failed to show that hedge fund Fortress Investment Group’s patent assertion tactics hurt competition, DOJ antitrust chief Makan Delrahim and other government lawyers wrote in a 27-page statement of interest.
On November 20, 2019, plaintiffs Intel and Apple filed suit against numerous entities, including Fortress Investment Group and Fortress Credit among others. Fortress and the other defendant entities own and license patents, which they have acquired, to downstream licensees.
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