Apple and Samsung are back in Court – this time, Google joins them
It is no joke – the clash of the Titans of the electronic industry continues on April 1st– Apple and Samsung head back to Court in another set of patent disputes. This amazing example of companies battling each other, not only on the marketplace, but also in the legal system, now has a new edge. Google will join the dispute actively, even bringing representatives and witnesses.
The dispute began in 2012 with Apple initiating the lawsuit and asking for a 2 billion settlement. Since then, Samsung has been firing back with its own complaints, claiming that Apple has copied some of their ideas and features. Some disputes were resolved in favor of Apple, and some in favor of Samsung, depending on the patents and country laws. This time, Apple is claiming that Samsung has infringed on five software patents. Although, according to Samsung, four of these patents were originally filed by Google. Since Google makes Android, the software that powers Samsung devices, Google will be directly involved in this dispute.
Samsung and Google are siding with each other declaring that Google had worked on these features (like “slide to unlock”) before Apple filed for patents. Some leading engineers from Google are even listed as witnesses. Although it may be difficult for Google to prove its case, the topic of standard-essential patents is very much in evidence. Just as in previous lawsuits, Apple is targeting its competitors based on patents that protect very basic software features that are now included in most smartphones. Most electronic companies side with Samsung, arguing that the US patent system should not protect some basic software and hardware features.
What Apple hopes to achieve with this lawsuit is yet to be seen, but one thing is certain: whatever the outcome, the electronic device market will be grossly impacted, since it could result in major OS changes or a ban on infringing devices.