Google becomes involved in the legal battle between Samsung and Apple
Apple is dragging Google into the legal spat it has with Samsung by bringing up an agreement between the two companies which binds the search giant to lend a hand if Samsung loses the current lawsuit.The deal between Samsung and Google enables the manufacturer to offer Android with some of Google’s software out of the box, but Apple says that this also means that in case Samsung is sued, Google offers it some protection.
During the recent trial hearing, James Maccoun, Google’s patent counsel, read parts of the agreement, as well as various emails between officials of the two companies where it was discussed that Google would back the company over two patents relating to universal search.
No financial details were revealed, or any strategic details for that matter, but one thing is clear: Google isn’t leaving Samsung alone, especially since the phone manufacturer is one of the biggest brands to use Android as the go-to operating system.
Since the agreement involves two patents, it should be mentioned that one of them is currently being brought in on the Apple-Samsung case. The document covers searching for local information and the web at the same time, while the other one that Google has offered to help with covers searching multiple areas of information through a single interface.
It’s been said several times thus far that this particular legal battle launched by Apple is actually aimed at Google and not at Samsung, even though the company has yet to take on the Internet giant face to face.
Despite this being the obvious target for Apple, the company has tried to make it clear that it was going after Samsung through its deposition. This, of course, makes sense since it’s not actually about the similarities between Android and iOS that Apple is fighting for, but rather the chance to ban Samsung phones sales in the United States.
The company seeks $2.2 billion (€1.58 billion) from Samsung for infringing five patents related to recognizing text strings to add links, searching data locally and online, synchronizing data between devices, unlocking a device through gestures, and auto-correct.
Samsung has decided to fight back and filed a counter suit saying that Apple is also infringing two of its patents. Unlike Apple, they’re only asking for $7 million (€5.05 million) in damages.
Battles such as this one, where features of mobile operating systems are at the center of it all, are pushing Google to lobby in favor of changing the faulty patenting system in the United States, as well as the legislation.
Patents nowadays are incredibly similar and it seems rather ridiculous to be able to obtain such a document for a hand gesture. While Google owns a really large pile of patents, it has rarely gone to battle over them; something that should perhaps be imitated by other tech giants.