Apple 2.0

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Apple vs. Android: The patent battlemap

December 6, 2010: 12:49 PM ET

A high-tech patent expert has reduced the legal disputes to a 13-part timeline

Click to enlarge. Source: FOSS Patents

With the exception of the patent attorneys at each of the litigant's firms, there may be nobody who has followed the legal battles surrounding Apple's (AAPL) iOS and Google's (GOOG) Android better than Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents.

On Friday, Mueller published a long post summarizing the 42 patents-in-suit between Apple and Motorola (MOT) in several venues, from the Southern District of Florida to the Western District of Wisconsin.

On Monday, he broadened his scope and posted what is, as far as we know, the clearest and most definitive map of the patents involved in the disputes between Apple and two major Android phone manufacturers, Motorola and HTC. The document, the result of scouring thousands of court filings, is organized into 13 "moves" and fills 25 PDF pages, many of which have the look of silicon chip architecture drawings.

The mind reels at the complexity of all this -- which may, for the patent attorneys, be the point. And according to Mueller, this is only the first many such documents he plans to publish.

FOSS, by the way, stands for Free and Open Source Software, which may suggest a bias on Mueller's part. If so, we've never detected it in any of his reports.  To download the PDF of his battlemap, click here.

[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]

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About This Author
Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

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