A Festive Lawsuit Season in Silicon Valley

'Tis the season for suing the pants off the competition

Apple announced a countersuit against rival mobile device designer Nokia, accusing it of infringing on no fewer than 13 patents in what Apple calling a copy of the iPhone.

The move comes after Nokia sued Apple for patent infringement, alleging Cupertino-based Apple enjoyed a "free-ride" on Nokia's technology in developing the iPhone.

Another lawsuit announced today involves local technology news site TechCrunch, which had been trying to develop a tablet computing device with a hardware engineering firm, Fusion Garage, based in Singapore.

TechCrunch had cried foul about a crumbling business relationship on its site, accused Fusion Garage in trying to cut the company out of the deal, and has now made good on its intent to sue.

Fusion Garage also made good on a promise to show the device off, and demonstrated a prototype of the CrunchPad, newly rechristened the JooJoo.

While you might think that the favorite pastime of the Silicon Valley business elite is golf, in reality, it's probably lawsuits -- not withstanding the fact that both these cases will probably be settled between counsel on the back nine.

Jackson West figures Wilson Sonsini will have a happy holidays in the billing department.

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