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The Patent War in Mobile Arena

Last year has seen the rage of mobile patent wars, as phone makers are applying for, purchasing and suing their nearest competitors over their copyrights. This war in the mobile industry started after Google acquired Motorola Mobility.

Who’s Suing Who?

In relation to this, Thomson Reuters released a chart of mobile companies that are suing and sued by other manufacturers. Obviously, readers will see an infographic that looks like a bowl of spaghetti.

Interestingly, Google has only been sued by Oracle over Java in the mobile realm, although the search engine giant has been in hot water during those times. Meanwhile, Microsoft was facing multiple suits against Barnes & Noble, Foxconn, Motorola and Inventec.

However, the Cupertino-based company, Apple, still takes the crown when it comes to patent wars. In fact, they are being sued, suing or has settled suits with five various corporations.

Apple Takes the Crown

Last year, Apple has been sued by Kodak and has settled litigations with Nokia. In addition, they have suit and countersuit with most of the major Android original equipment manufacturer such as HTC, Samsung and Motorola. The only Android phone maker not included in the list is LG.

It should be recalled that the iPhone maker gave Samsung a difficult time last year. The Korean company was not able to bring its Galaxy Tab across the world because of the injunctions being files by Apple in Australia and the European Union. In particular, the Samsung device didn’t make it to the store shelves of Germany and the Netherlands that time.

Who’s Missing in the Picture?

Microsoft has licensing patents with HTC and Amazon, while the latter has legal battles with Apple that do not involve actual patents. The only known manufacturer that doesn’t belong in the mobile patent wars is Qualcomm. The mobile chip maker was able to settle its suit and countersuit with Nokia.

It is the dark horse in the mobile industry since their chips power millions of devices, including its own bevy of patents and wireless spectrum. Intel is also not part of the list, as it has legal issues over patents that are not mobile-related.


It’s interesting to see how manufacturers that provide cutting-edge mobile technology put billions of dollars at stake to “protect” things that they own. Nevertheless, it only shows that there is a deep current running through the mobile environment. Whether every company will be able to settle their issues in the future remains to be seen.