So Apple is suing Samsung, accusing it of imitating Apple products with its Galaxy phones and tablets. The most startling thing about the news may be that the two companies weren’t already in court with each other. Over the past few years, the mobile industry has been so rife with suits and countersuits that if every complainant managed to sue every subject of its ire out of business…well, there’d hardly be a mobile industry left.
I had trouble remembering the precise details of the umpteen cases that have made headlines–as well as some related relationships, such as Microsoft’s licensing agreements with Amazon and HTC–so I decided to document them with a handy-dandy infographic, as much for my own edification as anyone else’s.
A few notes:
- This covers only patent-related suits, not ones solely over trademarks, employee poaching, and other issues.
- It only address mobile-related tussles (which is why LG’s attempt to prevent Sony from importing the PlayStation 3 into the US isn’t listed).
- It only involves great big companies, not smaller ones who are doing some of the suing.
- I’ve identified software and hardware companies that work together on devices (such as Microsoft and Samsung) but haven’t tried to indicate OEM and component relationships.
- I’ve also shown some licensing relationships I know about, but there are probably others.
- Any cases which I’ve forgotten about or didn’t know about in the first place aren’t here.
With that out of the way…
If you’ve got any corrections, additions, or thoughts about any of this, lemme know. I may update the graphic as future events warrant…although the mere thought of even more mobile legal spats cropping up is depressing me…