The three way telecomm duel

Last October telecommunications giant Nokia sued Apple for patent infringement. Apple fought fire with fire with Nokia. Now it drags HTC to court for the same reasons: 20 of the Apple patents are suposedly stolen by the smart phone manufacturer.

Moving closer towards the solution of this, one possible scenario might be if HTC sues Nokia for the same reason. Subjectively, I’m moving this closer towards a solution I know, and knew since I was a child.

It’s the famous Martin Gardner three way duel puzzle:

Three men are in a pistol duel. Each man will shoot in turn. The three men are identified as A, B, and C. A is a poor shot, and hits only 50% of the time. B is an expert marksman, and always hits. C is a moderate shot, and hits 80% of the time.

The exact order in which the three men will take turns shooting is variable (although in some variants it is stated as being A, B, C).

The question is, what is the best strategy for A to follow to win the duel?

Even though dueling got more refined during the years, would this old trilemma make a good strategy for a the above scenario? We’ll never know until HTC realizes that the smart phone market ain’t big enough four the three of them 😉

Three way duel puzzle article at
Three way duel

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