German Company sues Apple for $2 billion.

An article in USA Today dicusses how IpCom, a German patent holding company sued Apple for $2 billion. A “patent troll” is a term commonly used to describe the company because of its tendency to buy patents with no intent to use them. IpCom has over 1,200 patents with no plan for them in manufacturing.

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The company benefits from the license fees and royalties that result from enforcing patents. The ethical question here is  deciding if IpCom’s actions are morally right. The Act Utilitarianism theory may say that the action is morally wrong because it creates more unhappiness because they are suing the company for producing a product that advances society that would not have gotten produced otherwise. While rule utilitarianism would have said they were morally right if the number one rule is something like, “do not violate the patent”.

$2 billion is a lot of money and IpCom was denied their claim. But were they morally right to sue Apple in the first place?

One Response to German Company sues Apple for $2 billion.

  1. Interesting post. Patent trolls raise complicated and controversial issues about intellectual property.

    Last Janurary, I wrote a post about patent trolls and Newegg’s battle with them. You may wish to look there for more commentary on this subject.