You used to be able to define the success of an electronics company by the quality of its product. But in the smartphone wars, it's not just about how good the camera is or how much memory a phone has - the quality of a company's patent portfolio matters just as much.
It's a fight being waged in the courtroom as much as in stores. And it's resulted in the strange scenario where if you shun a Windows Phone in favor of buying an Android device... you could still be putting money in Microsoft's pocket!
Confused? Kristie Lu Stout explains.
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Catch News Stream with Kristie Lu Stout weekdays at 8pm HKT/ 12pm GMT / 8am ET on CNN International.