There is a lot of overlap when it comes to patents. The main reason a larger company may consider a takeover of a smaller one is over their patents so that they don't have to pay royalties or such. I don't get how so many companies out there can be operating when you consider how they must be infringing like 200 patents in one product alone.
I do think it's ridiculous though.
Nokia sued Apple.
Apple sued HTC.
What next, AT&T sue all phone manufactors since they should hold the patent on the telephone?
I think some companies get away with it , and those companies are the ones with money. Its the reason you dont really see many "new" electronics companies. Between lawsuits that the little guy cant afford to contest, weather they are factual or not most new startups dont make it a year. If you read around there was a debate what Apple should do with their billions stocked away, should they focus on giving something back to the people or not (i believe this was referring to haiti aid etc) and steve jerks went and made some statement about how he had other plans for it.
I used to feel bad for how Microsoft bent him over in his early days. Now I just attribute it to Karma.
Lets all just sue each other. We dont even need to have a product to sell. We can just sue every one with products and get rich.