Apple accused of feeding intellectual property to 'patent troll'


The new report claims that Apple has transferred several patents to the patent-licensing firm Digitude Innovations and accuses the company of aiding a so-called "patent troll." Digitude Innovations filed suit against tech giants this week, including Research in Motion, HTC, LG, Motorola, Samsung, Sony, Amazon and Nokia. Having investigating the lawsuit, TechCrunch found out that two of the patents mentioned in the lawsuit had belonged to Apple earlier this year.

Apple is claimed to transfer a dozen of patents to the company called Cliff Island LLC earlier this year. Noteworthy, the company's address is the same as Digitude investor Altitude Capital. Cliff Island apparently transferred the patents to Digitude.

In June Forbes reported that Digitude Innovations was established by Altitude founder Robert Kramer. Digitude is in the business of acquiring patents to sue others, the company has been labeled a "patent troll." The company is utilizing a new investment strategy of allowing investors to contribute patents instead of money. Participating companies would then receive a license for all of the firm's patents.

It is not clear whether Apple entered into an agreement with Digitude, but Apple may use the company as a "hired gun" in its patent battles.

"The idea that the company didn’t have any options other than handing over valuable patents to a patent troll — knowing full well that it would then use those patents to sue other tech companies — seems ludicrous."

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Written by Svetlana Osipova

Monday, December 12, 2011. 15:21

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