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A Cheat Sheet To the Mobile-Patent Mess 42

Posted by timothy
from the you'll-need-it dept.
harrymcc writes "This week's news that Apple is suing Samsung over the similarities of the latter's Galaxy phones and tablets to the iPhone and iPad inspired me to try to document all the court cases involving mobile patents (as well as some related relationships such as licensing agreements) in one infographic. I wonder what sort of technological wonders the companies involved could come up with if they took all the money they're giving to lawyers and spent it on R&D instead?"
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A Cheat Sheet To the Mobile-Patent Mess

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  • At least the lawyers are happy about it. This sort of thing drives innovation in the field of lawsuits. Granted the consumer doesn't get to see anything, but you can be sure that behind every lawsuit there are a ton of happy lawyers.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Nice graph, but it contains duplicate data. A right-triangle chart would contain the same information, and be easier to read due to the lack of duplicate data being visualized.
    Everything above and including the diagonal is unneeded.
    ie:

    1 \
    2 . \
    3 . P \
    4 X . S \
    . 1 2 3 4

    P - Pact
    S - Suing
    X - Global Thermonuclear Warfare

    • by mangu (126918) on Wednesday April 20, 2011 @08:08AM (#35879408)

      A right-triangle chart would contain the same information

      Yes, but the problem is that the right-triangle chart is patented.

    • by kestasjk (933987) *
      Unless you like reading tables across then down it helps to have one tuple per line.. Despite the horrific waste of data.

      Firefox doesn't have "tuple" in the dictionary?.. In the .NET framework Dictionaries are filled with nothing but tuples (ahar).
  • You only really need the upper-right triangle, as the lower-left is just a mirror of it.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      LIES! The lower-left triangle is necessary. The upper-right triangle is a waste of space.

  • ... very surprised anybody beat XKCD to it, though. This is the kind of thing that's right up their alley.

  • funny (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Charliemopps (1157495) on Wednesday April 20, 2011 @08:22AM (#35879552)
    Funny that M$FT and Appple are sueing everyone and Googles got the most smiley faces.
  • "I wonder what sort of technological wonders the companies involved could come up with if they took all the money they're giving to lawyers and spent it on R&D instead?"

    I wonder what sort of technological wonders the companies involved could come up with if they stopped copying Apple and concentrated on coming up with something original.

    • Are you referring to the black rectangular slate with a grid of icons Apple is suing Samsung over? Why is this copying Apple, when black rectangular slates and grids of icons have existed before the iPhone both separately and in tandem? I'm sure many people have seen this image, but it seems to invalidate anything Apple has to say about owning the slate form factor/grid of icons UI.

      http://photos.appleinsider.com/Sam.Apple.001.jpg [appleinsider.com]

      • by Microlith (54737)

        The tragedy in how idiotic that image is, even if it is technically correct.

      • by 517714 (762276)

        I think Apple's suit is utterly without merit, but you are trolling or stupid.

        From the accompanying article, "the graphic is in error, as Samsung only mentioned plans for the new phone in 2006. It wasn't actually shown until February 2007 at the 3GSM World Congress, held a month after the iPhone's debut. It did not go on sale at that time."

  • by AC-x (735297) on Wednesday April 20, 2011 @09:22AM (#35880264)

    Samsung are being sued by Apple over design patents rather than utility patents.Basically the Samsung devices look too much like Apple devices [theregister.co.uk].

    Design patents are very narrow scope and deal with just the look of the device as opposed to invention patents and software patents that cover how a device works.

  • Is Qualcomm. Every other company has an arrow or a red face in their row. So the takeaway is that you must be ready to be in court if you want to play. I think that's the point of all the anti-patent folks - it's just too hard to do anything in this climate. I'm sure Qualcomm has been there too, their lawyers are just on vacation right now.
  • So rather than spend money on lawyers to defend their intellectual property, they'd spend money on R&D to obfuscate their engineered products. In either case, it's not "productive".

  • Surprisingly, corporate counsel (where you have a big company like this, and they have full-time, salaried staff lawyers) isn't really that expensive to use to file a lawsuit. Compared to the R&D expenses, lawsuits really aren't that expensive if you already have a full-time lawyer (or many) on staff.
  • I wonder what sort of technological wonders the companies involved could come up with if they took all the money they're giving to lawyers and spent it on R&D instead?"

    And I wonder what sort of technological wonders the companies involved couldn't come up with if they took all the money they've spent on R&D and used it to simply duplicate the work of others instead.

    Speculation can go both ways.

  • Google should create a defensive patent pool for Android.
    Basically the idea is that any company partnering with Google on Android can join the pool.

    Joining the pool means that you agree not to sue any member of the pool for patent violations connected to Android products. But in return, you get the right to use patents from any member of the pool as a defensive weapon in the event that a non-pool-member sues you for patent violations connected to Android products.

    Collectively, I am sure that the big android

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