Apple has withdrawn from an antitrust suit that saw Intel and the iPhone maker join forces to battle patent troll Fortress Investment. Intel will now need to go it alone while Apple will likely be in a stronger position when defending its own antitrust issues.
First shared by Foss Patents’ Florian Mueller, Apple’s decision to remove itself from the suit could suggest that a deal has been done somewhere along the line. But it seems just as likely that Apple’s move was one of self-preservation – it’s difficult to argue against a company doing something you’re also being accused of, after all.
For Apple, the key benefit from this strategic retreat is that it’s now consistently an antitrust defendant that argues intellectual property right holders should not be restricted in how they exploit their assets. That’s what we heard from Apple’s lead counsel toward the end of the recent Epic Games v. Apple closing arguments. In that case, Apple attempts to draw an analogy to FTC v. Qualcomm, as does Fortress in the case from which Apple is now dropping out.
Apple is in the midst of various potential antitrust situations around the globe and it seems likely the company is simply setting itself for the onslaught that is surely to come.
Apple and Intel’s relationship continues to wilt and while unrelated to the switch to Apple silicon, the removal of itself from this suit could be seen as Apple again leaving Intel to carry on without it. In both instances, it seems difficult to see how Apple could do anything other than go its own way, however.
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