Silicon Valley leviathans and savvy startups battled over everything in 2014--our eyeballs, our smartphones, our grocery orders, even the sky. From Apple and Samsung's infamous legal battle over patents, to Uber and Lyft's vying to be the top car-hailing app, to Google and Facebook's competing to spread Wi-Fi all over the developing world, the most heated tech rivalries of the year had a winner-takes-all feel to them.

Here are eight that got especially ugly.

1. Apple vs. Samsung

Apple is not fond of copycats. That's why it has spent four years in a legal dispute with Samsung, claiming that the latter's phones stole several patented features from the original iPhone. In turn, Samsung fired back with a lawsuit claiming that Apple had stolen Samsung patents to create the iPhone 5. The drawn-out court battle came to a halt in May 2014 when a California jury found both parties at fault, awarding Samsung $158,400 and Apple $119 million in damages over infringement, way less than the $2.2 billion Apple was suing for. Four months later, a federal judge denied Apple's attempt to block the sale of Samsung's iPhone copycat devices.

2. Uber vs. Lyft

Never mind that taxi companies and city governments aren't too keen on the idea of car-hailing apps: Uber and Lyft's biggest competitors are each other. In 2014, Uber waged a cutthroat battle against Lyft by encouraging Uber employees to request and cancel thousands of rides as part of a program to lure Lyft drivers into jumping ship. Uber CEO Travis Kalanick even got personally involved in the sabotage tactics, trying to thwart Lyft's fundraising efforts with potential investors. After the two startups announced a carpooling feature on the same day, Lyft sued its former COO who had gone to Uber, claiming he had shared confidential information with its rival.

3. Netflix vs. Amazon vs. HBO 

According to a recent survey by Morgan Stanley, one in 10 pay TV subscribers are set to cancel their cable subscription this year. Following Netflix's critical and commercial success with original programming (House of Cards and Orange Is the New Black received six Golden Globe nominations earlier this month), Amazon jumped on the Web video bandwagon and garnered similar praise for its show Transparent. Now longtime premium TV staple HBO is finally getting serious about allowing its viewers to subscribe directly to its streaming service HBOGo without having to sign up for cable. Netflix did not take HBO's plans lightly, with its chief content officer, Ted Sarandos, having said, "The goal is to become HBO faster than HBO can become us." Off to the races for streaming TV supremacy.

4. Marc Andreessen vs. Peter Thiel

Tech rivalries don't always involve billion-dollar startups. Sometimes it's the investors behind them who drive the drama. VCs Marc Andreessen and Peter Thiel amped up their passionate opinions about Silicon Valley in a contest to be the industry's guru laureate. Andreessen runs VC firm Andreessen Horowitz, whose investments include Airbnb, Lyft, and Pinterest. He also runs his mouth on Twitter, eliciting passionate responses with his counterintuitive advice for startups. Similarly, when PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel gives in interview, he knows exactly what to say to grab the headlines.

5. Square vs. Apple Pay

Mobile payments stalwart Square kicked off the year by trying to expand its core business as it faced competition from other mobile payment startups. The competition got heated when Apple jumped on ship with the launch of Apple Pay. Tim Cook's mobile payment alternative was a big threat right from the get-go, as the iPhone's ubiquity with customers could sway retailers to consider Apple Pay over Square. Tech business analysts are now thinking it may be a good time for Jack Dorsey and Square to pivot the business.

6. Facebook vs. Snapchat

In 2013, Snapchat turned down a $3 billion acquisition offer from Facebook, which launched a rivalry between the two social services. Even though turning down Mark Zuckerberg's hefty offer may have seemed like a bad idea at the time, Snapchat has gone on to be valued at $10 billion. Having missed out on acquiring Snapchat, Facebook went on to launch its own mobile-only messaging app, Slingshot, in June. Although Slingshot has failed to garner Snapchat's hype with the young crowd, Facebook continues to be extremely popular with teens.

7. Facebook vs. Google

In 2014 Facebook and Google took their competition into orbit. Google's effort to "organize the world's information" cannot succeed if the entire world does not have a reliable access to this information, so this year the tech company began testing solar-powered drones to bring Wi-Fi to rural and poor regions across the world. This was all made possible by Google's recent acquisition of dronemaker Titan Aerospace, a company that Facebook also considered purchasing for $60 million. Zuckerberg settled for acquiring dronemaker Ascenta for $20 million, as part of the social network's Internet.org initiative to "beam internet to people from the sky."

8. Facebook vs. Ello

Facebook also encountered competition from an unlikely startup, the lesser known Ello. After Facebook alienated LGBT performers with it's "real name" policy and users' privacy concerns came to a head, Ello began gaining traction, making it the leading anti-Facebook social network literally over night. Ello lured users with its claims that it would never serve ads or sell information to advertisers, but the minimalist network quickly faded out of the spotlight after Facebook agreed to reverse its stringent "real name" policy.