Battles in the mobile ecosystem used to be fought for developers, but now that clear leaders have emerged with Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android operating system (Windows Phone 7 has a chance) the battle has switched to the courts and intellectual property. So now we have Oracle suing Google, Apple suing Samsung, and HTC suing Apple to name a few. Patents have suddenly become more valuable than Glenn Beck thinks gold should be, so now the big question is who has them?
In his second quarter wireless data report mobile industry analyst Chetan Sharma answers this question for Europe and the U.S. where he says most patent battles are waged. In an email he said that in Asia, Japan is the most relevant market in terms of patents but he couldn’t get information out from the country’s patent office. He added that China and Korea are other two markets where patent disputes are rising but said they are relatively minor.
Sure Google just said it would acquire Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion while InterDigital, which holds a fair number of mobile patents, is now the belle of the ball, but judging by the sheer number of patents granted, there are plenty of players that have the arsenals of IP in order to keep their hand in. Stand aside developers, it’s the lawyers’ turn to fight for mobile supremacy.