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Google ready to enter Apple vs. Samsung legal battles?

updated 05:00 pm EDT, Mon July 2, 2012

Search giant may react to Galaxy Nexus ban

Google has allegedly vowed to back Samsung in the Korean handset maker's ongoing legal battles with Apple, unnamed sources have told the Korea Times. Although Google so far has taken an indirect role in defending device makers that utilize its Android platform, the recent injunction focused on Galaxy Nexus sales, handed down in a California court, is said to have pushed the search giant to deepen its involvement.

If upheld and enforced, the Galaxy Nexus ban would represent one of the most significant injunctions to result from legal disputes in the smartphone realm. Apple successfully pushed for a sales ban on the original Galaxy Tab 10.1, however the ruling was limited to Germany (until recently) and the tablet had already been succeeded by newer models.

Apple is currently involved in several lawsuits and countersuits with top Android hardware makers Samsung, HTC and Motorola. Google made an attempt to assist HTC by sharing several patents to wield against Apple, however the patents were recently tossed from the case.

"It's too early to comment on our game plan (with Google) in the legal battle; but we will do our best to get more royalties from Apple, which has benefited from our technology," the latest source said. "The fight is becoming more dramatic and the possibility of a truce in the form of a cross-licensing deal, seems to be becoming likely."

Google has yet to comment on the rumors, which have yet to be independently verified. Even if the reports are accurate, it remains unclear if Google will attempt to become involved in the current lawsuits or attempt to participate in fresh cases filed against the iPhone maker.

Samsung has already filed a notice of appeal in the Galaxy Nexus case, opening the possibility that the courts may delay the inunction until the legal proceedings move to the next step. The potential sales ban has fueled speculation that Apple may widen its legal action against Samsung, as the Galaxy Nexus dispute centers around a search feature that the Korean company utilizes in other Android devices.

by MacNN Staff



  1. LenE

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I don't know what is funnier

    Samsung's serial delusions or Google encouraging them to go out and fight some more.

    First Samsung acts indignant and claims that they did not copy anything from Apple. Instead, insisting that they spent billions on "research", to come out with iPhone and iPad clones. Now, they continue to think that they are going to be able to force Apple into cross-licensing (by losing). Maybe something was lost in translation from English to Korean and back.

    Google is acting like the bully's little toadie. They haven't done anything of value in any case, except for their goofy public interest (really self-interest) letter to the ITC. That got HTC a long reprieve before the injunction kicked in. With HTC's subsequent actions, and Motorola/Google's belligerence to courts and anti-trust agencies of the US and EU, I don't think that act will work again.

  1. WaltFrench

    Joined: Dec 1969


    NEWS FLASH: Google/Sammy "Leak" Vague, Unverifiabl

    I'll bet Apple is quaking in its boots that after a couple of major takedowns, Sammy is now saying it is getting help from Google. Not that Google is disinterested: the current injunction is over ICS's oh-so-Siri-like copycat unified search. But what's up with this vague "news"? Google has long said it'd protect its Android buddies, and all that's happened is that it's taken ownership of Motorola's lawsuits. Certainly, they haven't manned up and said that since it's THEIR software accused of illegal patent infringement, they are volunteering to be sued directly instead of their OEMs.

    So Google was ALREADY helping Samsung, if their word is to be trusted anyway. Not that the help stopped Samsung from taking a license to Microsoft patents that Android infringed. Not that the promised help stopped Apple from filing new suits against new, obvious patent infringements.

    Here's a prediction: Real Soon Now -- maybe tomorrow, maybe in 6 weeks, who knows? -- Judge Koh will recognize that despite her original doubts, the appeals court has convinced her that Apple deserves protection of this patent. She's already used the phrase "unfair competition" in conjunction with Samsung's copying, so it's hardly impossible that she'd see Samsung as having crossed a line.

    In contrast, she's expressed doubts that other patents which it looks like Samsung infringed -- say, the "data detectors" trick which highlights phone numbers, dates, etc in media -- actually rose to the level of "irreparable harm" that a preliminary injunction demands. I'd disagree over that: either Samsung thought the feature was REALLY important to its sales, or else it was reckless in offering Android's clone of the feature, knowing that Apple had already sued over the 1996 patent, and was highly likely to sue again. OK, maybe BOTH. Whatever, if the courts want to uphold US laws, minimizing Sammy's behavior is an unlikely way to do so.

    Frankly, I find it hard to understand what game Samsung & Google think they're playing here with public opinion, coming, as it does, as their legal battles are going badly, with no relief from Moto patents or the win vs Oracle. To me, it seems to call more attention to Samsung's indifference to US legal standards.

    But for getting some ink in Electronista.Com and BGR.Com, I guess they get some props for that.

  1. LenE

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Angry nerds

    Google is relying on the frothing rants of angry nerds as their PR campaign. Obviously Apple must be evil, because they are trying to use lawyers against OPEN we're-not-evil stuff! Angry nerds think they have influence as technology gurus to the lame tech-feeble masses. Verizon even used one of these prototype dweebs in their anti-iPad ads last year.

    The truth is that most people buy smartphones initially on the advice of whoever is selling stuff at their existing carrier. After the first contract is up, a large percentage of Android users move to the iPhone, due to gaining wisdom and tiring of frustrations. The nerds have no real sway.

    I don't think Samsung really understands public opinion in the least. They just happen to be the biggest supplier of Google's angry nerd devices. When Apple can excise the infringing technology, only angry nerds will put up with Android.

  1. Flying Meat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    The point of all this may not

    have been to ping away at the "little" guys. Drawing in the big dog may have been the goal all along. C'mon Google. Join in. It'll be fun!

  1. Mechanic

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Who Cares?

    Big damn deal. Who cares what google does? The lending of 8 patents to HTC didnt do anything for them. The Judge in the ITC case threw all 8 google lent patents out of court. If I were samsung I wouldnt trust google with a potato peeler.

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