Fortress’ efforts to gather patents essentially amounts to anti-competitive behavior since these acquisitions were driven by the notion that they will be cheaper than what technology companies would be willing to pay to avoid lawsuits.
U.S. semiconductor giant, Intel Corp, has filed an antitrust lawsuit against Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp-owned investment company alleging that the firm stockpiled patents to hold up technology companies with numerous lawsuits.
In the complaint, that was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Jose, Intel has alleged that SoftBank-owned Fortress Investment Group, which it had acquired in 2017 for $3.3 billion, acquired control of more than 1,000 U.S. technology patents.
Intel has alleged that Fortress and other companies SoftBank owns or controls, has filed lawsuits against it claiming that nearly every processor it has made since 2011 has infringed their patents.
“One way in which Fortress has tried to turn around its performance and justify SoftBank’s investment in it is through increased speculation on patent assertions,” said the lawsuit. “Intel brings this complaint to end a campaign of anti-competitive patent aggregation by Fortress and a web of (patent assertion entities) that Fortress owns or controls.”
SoftBank did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
SoftBank also owns Arm Holdings, a British chip firm whose technology is making inroads on key Intel markets such as personal computers and data centers.
According to Intel, Fortress’ efforts to gather patents essentially amounts to anti-competitive behavior since these acquisitions were driven by the notion that they will be cheaper than what technology companies would be willing to pay to avoid lawsuits.
“Fortress’ aggregation is intended for an anti-competitive purpose—to invest in patents at costs lower than the holdup value of the patents,” wrote Intel in its complaint.