Apple Inc.: Fighting Patent Trolling

Case Solution

Arpita Agnihotri, Saurabh Bhattacharya
Ivey Publishing ()

In February 2020, Apple Inc. (Apple) was fighting one of the oldest patent trolling firms (a non-practicing entity) in the United States, VirnetX Holding Corporation (VirnetX). Aimed at financially sound and innovative companies, VirnetX had begun using certain US locations with pro-patent troll courts as key centers for filing legal disputes. For targets like Apple, this meant that resources devoted to innovation were wasted in litigation. Working with its competitors, Apple has taken several initiatives, including preventive litigation and appeals to the governments of the United States and the European Union to improve patent laws and prevent patent trolling. How could Apple’s CEO drive innovation at Apple amid patent tracing problems? What strategies should he use to fight non-practicing beings?

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