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Apple's and Samsung's lawsuits in visual form

Confused at who's suing whom? There are only two companies in the mix, but the list of courts and claims involved is already getting fairly complicated. A new chart helps explain where things are headed.


It didn't take long for Samsung to strike back at Apple, with the company yesterday filing lawsuits of its own in three different countries.

If you're scratching your head about what's at stake and where things are being filed, or if you're looking for a breakdown of the issues, intellectual-property watcher Florian Mueller has put together a handy chart (similar to the one he created for Microsoft and Motorola's legal spat), which does a good job of breaking down exactly what courts are involved and the specific claims from both parties.

The chart (embedded below) tracks specific issues mentioned in Apple's suit, which was filed at the end of last week. The Samsung suits, filed in Germany, Japan, and South Korea, don't have specific information about the patents and other IP items, but Mueller expands on the assertions made in those suits, and on what products are affected, on the final page of the document:

Apple vs Samsung 11.04.22

The outcome of this battle is of particular interest given the two companies' ties to each other. Apple uses components from Samsung in a number of its products, including its phones and computers. The two companies also compete fiercely in both those categories.

During Apple's second fiscal quarter earnings call with analysts on Wednesday, Apple COO Tim Cook noted that the company was Samsung's largest customer and that Samsung was "a very valued component supplier for us." Nonetheless, Cook said Apple has a different opinion of the company's mobile business.

"We felt the mobile communications business of Samsung had crossed the line, and after trying for some time to work through the issue, we decided we needed to rely on the courts," Cook said during the call.

Shortly following Apple's suit last week, Samsung fired back, saying the company would "respond actively to this legal action taken against us through appropriate legal measures to protect our intellectual property." This first set of suits could be just the start of that response.