Pretty big explosion! But some parts of the chart looked strange to me—specifically, Nokia's supposed barrage of seven patent lawsuits. Nokia, like a lot of companies, has litigated against Qualcomm over patent royalties, and I sure noticed Nokia's lawsuit against Apple and Apple's countersuit. But had I somehow managed to miss Nokia filing patent lawsuits against Sharp, Hitachi, LG, Toshiba, and Samsung?
Nope. After checking PACER, I can say that those lawsuits just don't exist. NYT blogger Nick Bilton cited this IHT article as his source, which seems to conflate Nokia's two patent disputes—one with Qualcomm, the other with Apple—with a broad price-fixing lawsuit over LCD displays it launched in December. But that lawsuit doesn't have anything to do with patents, intellectual property, or smartphones. The defendants in that litigation include such companies as Philips and AU Optronics, which aren't in this chart (or in the smartphone business for that matter).
Nor could I find any recent example of Blackberry manufacturer RIM suing Sharp Electronics, as the chart shows, either in a U.S. District Court or at the International Trade Commission.
Whittling the "explosion" down to the correct size would require deleting 6 of the 16 (or roughly one-third) of the cool-looking interconnected lines, and would make the Hitachi and Toshiba globes drop off the chart as well. Doing that would also leave Kodak (a non-competitor in the smartphone space) responsible for a big chunk of the remaining action.
There are, of course, still plenty of real smartphone patent suits to go around. No need for The New York Times to add in extras.
UPDATE: The New York Times updated their post.