The patent wars have been heating up recently, with Apple suing Samsung in Europe and Australia to try and prevent the sales of Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablets, and Google planning to acquire Motorola for $12.5 billion, largely to obtain the company’s patent portfolio — even though only 18 of the 17,000 patents may actually be useful to Google.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Samsung is in the process or suing Apple back, HTC and Apple are also suing each other, as are Motorola and Apple. Microsoft is also suing a number of companies including Motorola (which has sued back), Barnes & Noble, Foxconn and Inventec… and you know what?
I bet a graphic could tell the story a lot better than plain text. Fortunately Thomson Reuters has put together a cheat sheet showing the biggest patent-related suits between companies in the mobile space.
Some of the lawsuits have already been resolved, and the chart also shows that some companies are actually paying to license technology from one another instead of fighting legal battles. But at this rate I wouldn’t be surprised if this chart gets messier before things start looking better.