Fighting the smartphone wars


Innovation in the smartphone sector has made the devices hugely popular with consumers, but several unsightly tussles over who owns the intellectual property that they are based on continue to rumble on.

Smartphones are handheld computers capable of Internet browsing, sending and receiving emails, playing videos, not to mention making calls.

Information technology research company Gartner says that more than 80 million smartphones were sold worldwide in the third quarter of 2010, a 96 percent increase on sales in the same period in 2009. Market share in the smartphone sector is very valuable. The main players are inventing—and securing patents for their inventions—as a means of differentiating their products from those of their competitors and carving out a greater share of the market.

Innovation in the smartphone sector has been followed by a high level of increasingly complex patent litigation between those competing for market share and looking to earn revenue from their patent portfolios.

smartphones, Apple, patent litigation