Apple withdraws from antitrust lawsuit against Fortress Investment Group

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Apple has pulled out of an antitrust lawsuit against hedge fund Fortress Investment Group, which is accused of using its vast patent holdings to lodge patent claims against tech giants.

The Cupertino tech giant recently filed a notice of dismissal with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, leaving co-plaintiff Intel to go it alone against the parent company of serial patent infringement suit filer Uniloc. The move comes about a year and a half after Apple and Intel filed a complaint against Fortress in 2019.

According to Florian Mueller at Foss Patents, the decision to withdraw could suggest that a settlement was reached at some point.

As Apple withdrew from the Fortress suit, ongoing court actions involving Uniloc began to fall off the docket. On Tuesday, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit executed a dispositive order for a case involving the two parties after they filed a joint motion to dismiss.

Fortress Investment has been accused of being behind a slew of patent infringement lawsuits levied at Apple, mostly through subsidiary firms such as Uniloc USA and Uniloc Luxembourg.

Beyond settling patent infringement lawsuits, the move could also help Apple bolster its defense in its own antitrust battles. In the Epic Games v. Apple trial, for example, Apple lawyers argued that intellectual property holders should be able to use their assets without restrictions.

Intel was prepared to bring its case against Fortress Investment alone. The chipmaker had filed a previous lawsuit against Fortress in October 2019, before withdrawing it in order to file a new complaint that included Apple.

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