Patent Law

Newspaper Illustrates ‘Explosion’ of Suits Over Mobile Device Patents

A lawsuit filed by Apple on Wednesday against Taiwanese handset maker HTC is just the latest in an “explosion” of lawsuits over patents relating to mobile devices.

The Bits blog of the New York Times has an illustration full of company names and arrows showing a sampling of the litigation. “At first glance, it looks as if we’re in the middle of a patent lawsuit Super Bowl party,” the blog says. “Nearly every large mobile phone player—with the exception of Microsoft, Palm and, so far, Google——has recently been involved in some sort of patent litigation regarding mobile technologies.”

The headline proclaims an “explosion” of litigation, while the blog lists suits from just the past year. Taiwanese company Elan Microelectronics sued Apple over touch screen patents. Nokia sued Apple, Samsung, LG and a several other mobile handset companies. Kodak sued several companies over digital-imaging patents.

Lawyers told the blog that the suits are an attempt by the tech companies to stake their claim to the future of mobile computing—a technology that is still in its infancy.

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