Congratulations, Apple, you've held onto your title as the most sued U.S. company. However, you'd better watch out: Samsung is catching up quickly.
This year, the United States is set to experience the highest number of patent disputes in its history, according to UnifiedPatents, a member-based organization whose goal is reducing the number of NPE (non-practicing entities) assertions in specific technology areas.
NPEs, often referred to as "trolls," amass large numbers of patents with the intention of launching patent infringement suits against companies and individuals that they maintain have illegally used some element of something for which they hold the patent.
According to Unified Patents, there were 3,499 patent litigation cases in 2011 and this is projected to hit 6,100 in 2015. Legal action over intellectual property infringements often involve tech companies. Apple has found itself in the crosshairs 35 times so far this year, while Samsung has endured 33 litigation cases in the first half of 2015.
In 2014, Apple was sued 59 times. Amazon was the runner-up last year with 50 lawsuits filed against it. (The accompanying chart is courtesy of Statistica.)
So who's suing Apple this year? Probendi, an Irish software development studio, has filed an urgent procedure with a court in Milan protesting Apple’s use of the term "iWatch" in its ads.
Apple was sued by Shanghai Shulong Computer Technology (the parent company of Shanda Games) for alleged copyright infringement of The King Of Adventure, a mobile game sold in the Apple App Store. In June Shanda Games sued Apple, Huawei, C1wan.com and Beijing Zhuoyi Xunchuang Technology for unfair competition.
Comarco Wireless Technologies is suing Apple for patent infringement, claiming that the Cupertino, California-based company’s iPhone/iPad chargers infringe on its own patents. And battery manufacturerA123 Systems is suing the Cupertino, California-based company for “poaching employees."