If you have been following tech news or my blog you know about the patent war going on between these two companies. Here is a good article by mashable describing the ridiculousness that these patents claim. For instance, the article explains how patents are so broad that its impossible to build a phone without copying. This would be equivalent to Ford claiming that a mercedes was copying it.
The article uses this example from history with the wright brothers:
“Everyone knows the story of the Wright brothers and their historic flight in December 1903. What you may not know is that the Orville and Wilbur Wright submitted a patent for their invention months earlier, which was eventually granted in 1906. Then the airplane patent wars began.
The Wrights sued Glenn Curtiss (among others) for infringing on their patent with his company’s aircraft designs. The thing was, the Wright brothers’ patent was so broad, it was virtually impossible to build any kind of aircraft without infringing on it. Eventually the two sides were forced to settle their differences at the advent of the First World War, when the U.S. government stepped in and created a temporary patent pool for wartime production, which eventually became permanent.”