Beyond Apple vs. HTC: Who's Suing Who?

While Apple vs. HTC is getting a ton of press this week (TiPb a culpa!) the New York Times blogs provides the above graph to show us it's just another strand in the growing web of mobile patent pugilism.

Although patent litigation is not new in the technology world, these suits, specifically around mobile, point to the drastically changing mobile landscape. Lawyers I spoke with explained that mobile technology was still in its infancy and these large computing companies were trying to stake their claim to the future of computing.

So far only Microsoft, Google, and Palm have remained uninvolved. (That's actually quite a list of prominent names, isn't it). Meanwhile:

Apple was sued by the Taiwanese company Elan Microelectronics over alleged infringement of touch-screen patents. Nokia went on a lawsuit spree, suing Apple, Samsung, LG and a variety of other mobile handset companies. Kodak sued several companies over patents related to the companies’ digital-imaging technology.

And, of course, the aforementioned Apple vs. HTC. Here's our question, and it's one we've asked before -- does it matter to consumers? Are we spectators watching Godzilla battle King Kong, or are we the city folks running for our lives as buildings drop around us?

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.