There are a lot of interesting facts, presentations, and historical detail coming out of the Apple vs. Samsung patent case currently under way. It is also slowly reeling in Google’s flavour of Android into the spotlight.
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As part of the Mobile Applications Development Agreement between Samsung and Google, the Mountain View based company is bound by the agreement to provide backup in the event of a legal dispute, with Google counsel James Maccoun confirming on the stand that “Google is asking Samsung to tender the defense so that Google can defend Samsung.”
This agreement relates both to indemnity of the defense costs and liability, although no financial or strategic details. It covers a subset of patents, and in this case specifically the ’959′ suit (patent #6847959) which deals with mixing local and web search on a device.
Google was always tangentially involved in this patent dispute, with Google’s own software for Android (including Gmail, Google Apps, and the Google search widget) a part of the software package that the consumers clearly identify with. The case may be Apple vs.Samsung, but as more details enter the public domain of the workings of Google’s guidance of Android through their licensing for proprietary applications and API’s, it’s clear that Apple’s court cases might not be a full frontal attack on Google, but is a strategic flanking manoeuvre.
It might not yet be the “thermonuclear war” that Steve Jobs would have spent “ every penny of Apple’s $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong”, but I Tim Cook’s Apple is continuing that pursuit of Android through the Courts. With the manufacturing partners now all on notice, it’s time to bring Google into the fray.