Google Looks to Distance Android from Apple vs. Samsung Ruling
The Verge reports that Google has officially responded to Friday's ruling in the Apple vs. Samsung case that saw a jury award Apple over $1 billion in deciding that Samsung had infringed upon Apple's patents and trade dress.
In its statement, Google attempts to distance itself from the controversy somewhat, indicating that most of the issues addressed in the trial do not relate to Android itself. The issues instead deal with Samsung's specific software implementations and its hardware design decisions. Google writes:
The court of appeals will review both infringement and the validity of the patent claims. Most of these don't relate to the core Android operating system, and several are being re-examined by the US Patent Office. The mobile industry is moving fast and all players - including newcomers - are building upon ideas that have been around for decades. We work with our partners to give consumers innovative and affordable products, and we don't want anything to limit that.
Some of the key pieces of evidence weighing in Apple's favor in the jury's mind were in fact 2010 memos and conversations between Google and Samsung that included Google "demanding" Samsung make changes in its implementation of Android over concerns that it was too similar to Apple's iOS. From one internal Samsung email describing Google's concerns:
“I am notifying you of the team leader’s directives from the executives’ meeting yesterday,” the message begins. The sixth item on the list addresses a need to “respond to the issue of design similarity for the S series,” which Samsung designer Kim Jin Soo testified was a reference to the company’s S series of smartphones.
“Google is demanding distinguishable design vis-à-vis the iPad,” according to the e-mail. “Consider design distinguishability for the items demanded by Google while maintaining the current design, and in regards to each carrier’s demands.”
With the Korea Stock Exchange having just opened for trading for the first time since the ruling, Samsung's stock is currently trading down 7%. Apple's stock rose nearly 2% in after hours trading Friday following the ruling.