According to a newly published study by PatentFreedom, Apple was the top target of lawsuits by what lawyers call non-practicing entities, or NPEs for the past five years. NPEs, commonly referred to as "patent trolls," are essentially companies that own intellectual property but don't make any real products.
Apple was tied for first place with HP in last year's listings, with both companies being targeted for 131 suits going back to 2007.
PatentFreedom's report is the latest to highlight the growth of lawsuits by NPEs. In April, a study published by UC Hastings Professor Robin Feldman and intellectual property analytics company Lex Machina noted that the majority of patent cases in 2012 were launched by NPEs, or what the study referred to as "patent monetization entities."
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