Crazy new patent wars infographic helps you follow the action

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.

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

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15 Comments

1. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 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...

2. groupsacc

Posts: 232; Member since: Feb 28, 2012

Can you enlighten us?

3. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 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.

4. spanky

Posts: 81; Member since: Jun 02, 2011

Google didnt sue HTC they sold them a patent

5. windowsRocks

Posts: 155; Member since: Oct 28, 2011

World war 3 .....LOL

7. tedkord

Posts: 17413; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

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

10. KingShango

Posts: 89; Member since: May 16, 2012

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

6. itiswhatitis

Posts: 423; Member since: Jan 23, 2012

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

8. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Around and around the wheel goes, where it stops, nobody knows! This is amazing. Worthy of an epic comic book series.

9. jmoita2

Posts: 930; Member since: Dec 23, 2011

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

11. KingShango

Posts: 89; Member since: May 16, 2012

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

13. 14545

Posts: 1835; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

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

14. Non_Sequitur

Posts: 1111; Member since: Mar 16, 2012

I wish taco was here to see this.

15. KingShango

Posts: 89; Member since: May 16, 2012

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

12. jaytai0106

Posts: 1888; Member since: Mar 30, 2011

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

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