Smartphone patent wars: You can't tell the players without a scorecard

Last week saw a number of major developments in the ongoing patent wars among the major smartphone players.

On Friday, a federal appeals court cleared Apple and Google's Motorola Mobility to pursue patent infringement claims against each other, overturning lower court rulings, Reuters reports.

The appeals court ruled that Apple could pursue a patent infringement case against Motorola Mobility involving three of its mobile device patents and could seek a sales ban against Motorola's smartphones.

The court also ruled that Motorola Mobility could pursue patent litigation of its own involving three of its patents that it claims Apple violated, but it could not seek a sales ban against Apple's devices.

To complicate matters, Google has agreed to sell Motorola Mobility to Chinese firm Lenovo for $2.5 billion, although Google is retaining Motorola's patent portfolio.

In another development last week, Google attorney James Maccoun admitted that Google agreed to pay Samsung, the largest maker of Android smartphones, compensation in Samsung's patent war with Apple, CNET reports.

In a patent trial between Apple and Samsung, Maccoun authenticated emails between Google and Samsung that indicated Google would "defend and indemnify" Samsung in its patent litigation with Apple as part of a mobile application distribution agreement.

Apple is seeking $2.2 billion in damages from Samsung in this round of the two firms' patent wars, after winning a $1 billion judgment against Samsung in 2012.

For more:
- read the Reuters report
- see the CNET report

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