A NEW front is opening in what's been dubbed the smartphone wars: This one involves countries, not companies.
South Korea and China are adopting antitrust policies that may require companies such as Apple Inc and Qualcomm Inc to license inventions to rivals more easily and cheaply, potentially giving Asian companies a leg up against foreign competitors. Brazil and India are considering similar paths.
The clampdown on patents has the potential to alter the balance of power in the global mobile-phone industry, which generated US$412 billion last year, according to IDC. These new rules may weaken the ability of Apple, Microsoft Corp and Qualcomm - typically among the top 15 US patent recipients...