To add to the intensifying battle between U.S. phone manufacturers for control of the smartphone market, Motorola is counter-suing Microsoft, alleging the tech company's personal computer, server, mobile phone and Xbox products infringe on 16 different Motorola patents.
Last month, Microsoft sued Motorola over infringements stemming from the Illinois-based phone maker's Android operating platforms. Apple has also filed complaints against Motorola with the U.S. International Trade Commission, as well as a separate suit against HTC - another Android-based phone manufacturer.
As the ITC investigates Microsoft's complaints and Motorola requests compensation for infringements, others are questioning what, if anything, the patent wars are accomplishing.
"This is [about] more than just making a competitor lose sales, but also about making a heavy profit," writes Mobile Deals Compared, a mobile industry commentator. "Even a payoff of a small amount per handset would equate into an incredibly large sum. Add to this equation that patent lawsuits do not target a specific device, but a specific technology that might be used in a series of handsets."
However, the lawsuits do not reflect merely a quest for revenue, so much as a quest for market share in a fledgling but highly lucrative industry.
With the number of smartphone patent lawsuits reaching double digits, many top brands are adopting IP management technologies to help ensure protection of their intellectual assets.