Apple and Samsung are at it again in yet another round of their ongoing patent dispute, but it looks like Google will play a bigger role in this particular case.
According to The New York Times, Apple and Samsung’s latest trial over smartphone and tablet patents — which begins today in U.S. District Court in San Jose, California — will include more of a say from Google, since software is largely the complaint at hand.
Apple is accusing Samsung of violating five of its software patents, and is seeking $2 billion USD in damages. Samsung says that it licensed four of those software features in Google’s Android operating system, and that the technology had been in the works even before Apple filed its patents.
On the flipside, Samsung is going after Apple for violating two of the South Korean electronics maker’s patents. Samsung is only looking for $7 million USD in damages.
The patents in question apply to more recent smartphone models, including Apple’s iPhone 5 and Samsung’s Galaxy S3. Apple claims that Samsung violated patents such as those covering the detection of data in messages, which convert them into a link that can be clicked; background syncing of data; universal search used in Siri; the auto-complete feature, and the “slide to unlock” feature.
Samsung said these were all features of Android except the “slide to unlock.”
Software is Google’s game, since Samsung only provides the hardware. Samsung’s popular Galaxy line and many other phone offerings run Google’s Android operating system.
Apple hasn’t directly sued Google over these patents, but Google engineers are expected to take the stand to defend Samsung against Apple’s claims. One potential witness is Andy Rubin, the former head of Android.
Apple and Samsung had their first trial in 2012, when Apple said Samsung made products that copied the look and feel of the iPhone and iPad. Apple won that case, and Samsung was ordered to pay Apple $930 million USD in damages. Samsung is appealing that verdict.
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