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Crazy new patent wars infographic helps you follow the action

Posted: , by Scott H.

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Crazy new patent wars infographic helps you follow the action
Who doesn’t love to read about software patents, right? The problem is, even after you’ve learned enough legalese to try and follow the articles, it’s almost impossible to keep straight who is suing whom, and who “started” the spat. Luckily the minds over at visual.ly have made a compact infographic that contains all this information and more.

Looking at the wheel o’ litigation, there are several layers of information on it. The outer gray circle is companies that have shared or sold patents to other companies – think of it like arms deals: those companies are transferring patents to serve either as a deterrent, or in retaliation. Following the arrows in that outer ring shows that Google has acquired the most patents the last few years, which is no surprise because they were far behind the other tech companies in “ammunition” when the patent war began.

Crazy new patent wars infographic helps you follow the action
Moving to the inner circle, two different types of information is available. First, following the arrows shows you who is suing whom. As you track each line it also shows you how many patents are being asserted (sued over). Finally, the artist(s) have added a handy “eye for an eye” marker; if the circle at the base of a line is hollow, then the lawsuit is a defensive one. So for example HTC is currently embroiled in three sets of lawsuits (two with Apple and one from Interdigital), but the lawsuits HTC started against Apple were defensive in nature.

Looking over the graph it's clear that Apple and Microsoft have been the main instigators of the patent wars. Kodak also appears to be a major player but most of their lawsuits just popped up recently, most likely in a bid to avoid bankruptcy (or convince someone to buy their 1,000 or so patents).

If you want a better grasp on who is suing whom, take a closer look at the image above.

source: visual.ly via mobilesyrup

15 Comments
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posted on 23 May 2012, 10:36

1. Commentator (Posts: 2327; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)


What's Google suing HTC over?

EDIT: Never mind, I stupidly forgot to read the glossary, and since I can't you, know, just DELETE comments, I guess I have to write something else...

posted on 23 May 2012, 10:41

2. groupsacc (Posts: 232; Member since: 28 Feb 2012)


Can you enlighten us?

posted on 23 May 2012, 10:44 5

3. Commentator (Posts: 2327; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)


No, I thought Google was suing HTC, but they're selling them patents instead. Again, I just didn't read the glossary, or even the article, but jumped straight to the graph.

posted on 23 May 2012, 10:45 1

4. spanky (Posts: 81; Member since: 02 Jun 2011)


Google didnt sue HTC they sold them a patent

posted on 23 May 2012, 10:46 2

5. windowsRocks (Posts: 149; Member since: 28 Oct 2011)


World war 3 .....LOL

posted on 23 May 2012, 10:58 1

7. tedkord (Posts: 4485; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


It looks like that big computer screen at the end of war games, when Joshua plays out all the thermonuclear war scenarios.

posted on 23 May 2012, 11:25

10. KingShango (Posts: 89; Member since: 16 May 2012)


+1 Thats exactly what I thought when I saw it.

posted on 23 May 2012, 10:55

6. itiswhatitis (Posts: 421; Member since: 23 Jan 2012)


FOXCONN is the only non-software company to get sued!!

posted on 23 May 2012, 11:04 3

8. Sniggly (Posts: 6761; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


Around and around the wheel goes, where it stops, nobody knows!

This is amazing. Worthy of an epic comic book series.

posted on 23 May 2012, 11:23

9. jmoita2 (Posts: 930; Member since: 23 Dec 2011)


It looks like a screen from the classic video game Missile Command. lol

posted on 23 May 2012, 11:29 1

11. KingShango (Posts: 89; Member since: 16 May 2012)


Google isn't suing anyone? Am I reading this right?

posted on 23 May 2012, 13:14 5

13. 14545 (Posts: 1096; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)


Yep, and notice which company has all the little sue dots? Hint, it's a rotten fruit.

posted on 23 May 2012, 16:37

14. Non_Sequitur (Posts: 1111; Member since: 16 Mar 2012)


I wish taco was here to see this.

posted on 23 May 2012, 16:38

15. KingShango (Posts: 89; Member since: 16 May 2012)


We'll see if that trend continues now that they officially have all of Moto's patents.

posted on 23 May 2012, 11:31

12. jaytai0106 (Posts: 1208; Member since: 30 Mar 2011)


I totally gave up on reading it... Way too crazy now these days...

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