Several of the most recognizable companies in the U.S.--including Apple, Google and Amazon to name a few--have recently found themselves embroiled in patent litigation. But that's not the only reason the issue has the public's attention. It hits home for small businesses, too, as the number of patent infringement lawsuits has doubled since 2008, largely thanks to patent trolls.

This infographic by data visualization company Visage examines the increase in patent litigation over the past year.