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Apple's Legal Fees Rumored to Top $100M on HTC Patent Dispute Alone

In his biography, Steve Jobs was so infuriated by Android's similarities to the iPhone that he swore to spend all the money Apple had in the bank to defeat the platform. Newsweek columnist Dan Lyons passes along a rumor that Apple has spent $100 million in legal fees on just its first set of claims against HTC.
Who knows if it’s true, but if so, Apple didn’t get a lot for its money.

[...]

[Against HTC,] Apple started out with 10 patents — presumably its best ones — and ended up with a tiny victory on just one. Was that worth $100 million?

Apple certainly can afford the legal fees, and shows no sign of letting up.

[...]

HTC has two claims pending against Apple with the ITC as well, the first one due for a decision next month and the second in April 2013. And then there are other claims, all over the world, against HTC, Samsung and Motorola.
But, Lyons notes, HTC, Samsung and Motorola are all countersuing Apple with their own patent claims and Apple already lost a major lawsuit to Nokia and had to pay the Finnish company not insignificant royalties its own patent infringement.

Apple has hired some of the best -- and most expensive -- patent litigators in the world and, after several years of legal wrangling (and many more to come), doesn't have much to show for it.

Lyons points out that whether the $100 million figure is accurate doesn't really matter. Apple and all the other cell makers are simply jockeying for position and trying to gain leverage for what is likely an inevitable legal settlement. "In that sense, whatever Apple is spending on legal fees is probably money well spent," notes Lyons.

Tomorrow, Apple will announce the most recent quarter's additions to its cash pile, which totaled more than $80 billion three months ago. Apple can easily afford many more years of massive legal bills.

Top Rated Comments

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38 months ago
Sigh, I remember a time when tripe like this would never make it to MR. Seriously, a story about Apple's $100M fees where the number is made up by a 'journalist' and the story quotes the 'journalist' saying 'whether the $100 million figure is accurate doesn't really matter'.
Rating: 21 Votes
38 months ago

Half the stuff that ends up on the front page wouldn't have made page 2, when I started reading the site.


...probably because back then MacRumours had stories about Apple Macs, it wasn't "all Itoys all the time". ;)
Rating: 15 Votes
38 months ago
Can you imagine a world without lawyers?

Rating: 14 Votes
38 months ago

If Nokia felt their case was worth significant damage they would have not offered any terms of agreement to settle, never mind accept them.


Not to mention Apple stipulated in that case that they were already willing to pay standard licensing terms to Nokia anyway - the same amount that other vendors would. *The case was over unfair licensing terms.


You have to check better the facts, reality was just the contrary.

Apple didn't accept that the amount was set by a jury as Nokia asked them. Strange if they thought that the amount Nokia asked was unfair
Rating: 13 Votes
38 months ago

Sigh, I remember a time when tripe like this would never make it to MR. Seriously, a story about Apple's $100M fees where the number is made up by a 'journalist' and the story quotes the 'journalist' saying 'whether the $100 million figure is accurate doesn't really matter'.


Half the stuff that ends up on the front page wouldn't have made page 2, when I started reading the site.
Rating: 13 Votes
38 months ago

This money could have been donated to charity. Totally lame.


Just stop with that stuff.
Rating: 9 Votes
38 months ago

Half the stuff that ends up on the front page wouldn't have made page 2, when I started reading the site.


I agree.

It's more GarbageRumors these days.
Rating: 7 Votes
38 months ago

This goes to show that Apple does care about their products before money. If only the other companies were like this then they would develop their own look and style instead of imitating Apples.


No it's certainly all about money. I promise. ;) All Corporations exist to add value to their shareholders. Corporations (including our beloved Apple) could care less about your personal emotions as long as they are driving profits.
Rating: 7 Votes
38 months ago

You don't compete against thieves. You seek legal remedy against them. The bigger and more pervasive they are, however, the more you have to keep pushing to get results.


If they don't win the cases, then there are no thieves
Rating: 7 Votes
38 months ago

Doesn't matter how much Apple spends.

The point is to make it harder on Android OEMs.

Every dollar Apple spends on legal fees ~= a dollar an OEM has to spend.

If I developed a technology that would eventually change the world, you bet your ass I will fight to the death to defend my IP.


Talk about megolomania. Did Steve Jobs find a cure for cancer. No, he brought forth a freakin' toy.
Rating: 7 Votes

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