Google reacts to Apple's US patent victory over Samsung

 
Samsung Galaxy S, Samsung Galaxy S2 and Apple iPhone 3G Samsung's Galaxy S and Galaxy S2 were found to have infringed patents used in Apple's iPhone

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Google has said that it does not want the ruling in the Apple-Samsung patent lawsuit to "limit" consumers' access to Android devices.

A US jury ordered Samsung to pay Apple over $1bn (£664m) on Friday after ruling it had infringed several of the iPhone maker's software and design innovations.

Samsung said it intended to appeal.

There has been speculation that the news could encourage handset makers to install the rival Windows Phone system.

Google released its statement late on Sunday in the US.

"The court of appeals will review both infringement and the validity of the patent claims," it said.

"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 continue to work with our partners to give consumers innovative and affordable products, and we don't want anything to limit that."

Apple v Android

Apple has indicated it will seek sales bans on eight of the phones at the heart of the lawsuit at a hearing on 20 September.

The models include the Galaxy S 4G, Galaxy S2 AT&T model, Galaxy S2 Skyrocket, Galaxy S2 T-Mobile model, Galaxy S2 Epic 4G, Galaxy S Showcase, Droid Charge and Galaxy Prevail.

The list does not include Samsung's current flagship handset, the Galaxy S3, which was not involved in the case.

However, Apple could now also try to use the verdict to try to halt sales of other Android-based models it believes infringe its patents.

There has been speculation this could work to Microsoft's advantage.

Samsung Galaxy Nexus S The jury said the Google-branded Nexus S did not infringe the pinch-to-zoom patent, but did infringe a bounce-back scrolling feature

During the patents court case Apple revealed it had licensed some of its technologies to Microsoft. Its lawyers also showed pictures of Nokia's Lumia - which runs Windows Phone 7 - as an example of a handset that looked distinctive from its own.

In contrast, Apple continues to be involved in lawsuits against two other Android-handset makers: Motorola - which is owned by Google - and HTC.

Microsoft's opportunity

Following the Samsung verdict, Bill Cox, marketing director for Microsoft's Windows Phone Division tweeted: "Windows Phone is looking gooooood right now."

Dell, HTC, Samsung, LG and ZTE have already created Windows Phone 7 devices, but only Nokia has concentrated its efforts on the system.

One analyst said that the US ruling presented Microsoft with an opportunity to convince others to put their weight behind the next version of its mobile system.

"I think this will force a reset on Android products as they are re-engineered to get around Apple's patents," said Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the tech consultancy Enderle Group.

"[It should also] provide a stronger opportunity for both of Microsoft's new platforms - Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 - because they come with indemnification against Apple, suddenly making them far safer."

However, manufacturers will have to weigh up Android's popularity before making a move.

Cross-licensing

According to recent data from analysts at IDC, Android had a 68.1% of the global smartphone market between April and June. Apple's iOS had 16.9% and Windows Phone/Windows Mobile had 5.4%. The data was based on shipments rather than sales.

In case Apple's patents hold up under appeal, Google could recode Android to ensure there was no potential infringement, or handset makers could seek to pay their rival a licence fee.

And there is another alternative: Apple could ultimately seek a patent cross-licensing deal with Google despite its late chief executive Steve Jobs' vow to "destroy Android".

Nokia Lumia 800, ZTE Tania, HTC Titan, Samsung Focus 8 Nokia, ZTE, HTC and Samsung are among the firms to have already released Windows Phone 7-based devices

Part-way through the Samsung case, Google filed its first lawsuit versus Apple since taking over Motorola. It alleged seven patent infringements, one of which involves the technology used in the iPhone's Siri voice-activated search tool.

Were Google to succeed it could call for a import ban on Apple's iOS products, potentially forcing its rival into a deal.

The case is driving share prices in related technology stocks.

Samsung's shares fell 7.5% in Seoul on Monday - their biggest drop since October 2008, wiping about $12bn off the companies value.

Nokia's shares closed 7.7% higher on the Helsinki Stock Exchange.

In New York, Apple's stock rose 1.88% to $675.68, Microsoft's about 0.4% up and Google's was down by 1.4%.

 

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  • rate this
    +10

    Comment number 109.

    I've never bought an Apple product simply because there is never anything new in them and they are overpriced for what they are. They pretend to iinvent when all they do is re-hash designs. The iphone is just a phone with some computing power, it already existed.
    The iPad is just a bigger phone - that doesn't phone. The Mac splintered the pc world - no advantage to the consumer. Go bust, Apple.

  • rate this
    -19

    Comment number 108.

    It won't limit access to Android since Google and Samsung are perfectly entitled to change their software so it no longer infringes.

    Perhaps if Google had played fair in the first place then they wouldn't have become an enemy of Apple.

    Eric Schmidt was on Apple's board for a while and said he wasn't planning on entering the phone business. So he knew exactly what Apple was planning in 2007.

  • Comment number 107.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
    -20

    Comment number 106.

    I don't see how an inferior copy, or even a superior copy, can be called "consumer choice"? Why couldn't Samsung have just thought a little harder and come up with a different way of controlling the actions on their phones, instead of square icons, sliding buttons etc? That's not real choice, it's just something very similar to Apple's.

  • rate this
    +17

    Comment number 105.

    who owns the patent on the envelope for mail? did that slip through the net, whole thing is ridiculous, innovation takes a back seat for a company hell bent on destroying their competitors at all costs.

  • rate this
    +11

    Comment number 104.

    It's only a matter of time before we are all taken to court by Apple for playing iSpy!

  • rate this
    -28

    Comment number 103.

    When Apple launched the iPhone, Steve Jobs demonstrated pinch to zoom and told the world we have patented the hell out of it. Why the surprise when they take a company to court for ripping the technology off. Apples biggest mistake was to use Samsung to produce their parts, making it easy for Samsung to copy their products. Apple should change supplier in the future.

  • rate this
    +6

    Comment number 102.

    A Japanese company v an American company in an American court.

    American court finds in favour of the American company. In contrast to what every other court in the world has said.

    Not a great strain of the mind to realise what's gone on here is it?

  • rate this
    +20

    Comment number 101.

    @ 88. Graphis

    How has it been blatantly obvious? What shape do you think a touch screen operated phone should be? Black is also not patented by apple (yet).

    There were phones that looked very similar to the iPhone way before the iPhone was thought of.

    Apple makes average devices look pretty - that's it. There are dozens of Android phones that are alot more powerful than iPhone etc

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 100.

    69. roflagain "stop investing in technology and companies that copy rather than lead."

    If everyone followed that idea then technology development would come to a complete stop and we would quickly regress to the stone age.

  • rate this
    +21

    Comment number 99.

    Anyone who wants a clear perspective on Apple's behaviour need only look at the short TED video on remixing. Apple did not invent GUI's, mice or touchscreens. They consciously "lifted" most of the ideas and are behaving like complete hypocrites. The upshot is less for the consumer and more for Apple.

  • rate this
    +139

    Comment number 98.

    The issue is not that the (US) courts upheld a patent.

    The issue is that many of these patents shouldn't have been granted in the first case.

  • rate this
    +16

    Comment number 97.

    Bill Cox has clearly forgotten that M$ owe almost their entire success to ripping off other people's work (GUIs, browsers, applications, etc.). Not least Apple's.

    However, I think Apple have ridiculously overplayed their hand here, and will upset a lot of formerly neutral consumers.

  • rate this
    +15

    Comment number 96.

    Nearly time to buy a new smart phone. The Samsung Galaxy looks nice. Perhaps I'll just get one of those

  • rate this
    +8

    Comment number 95.

    If I was running Samsung I would cancel/ban all Apple contracts and offer lower prices to their main competitors. Apple are just money grabbing and using highly exploitative patent legislation to "boost" their profits.

    The theft wasn't from Apple; it was from the consumers who Apple doesn’t want to have a choice. Sickening business practices, specially as Win-PC is a lot more cost effective

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 94.

    A problem with IT devices and applications is that they just copy each other. Apple brings out a touch screen, other manufacturers add touch screens. These designers have little imagination.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 93.

    Suddenly, this advert is immensely ironic:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYecfV3ubP8

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 92.

    There is only one winner and one looser in these battles:

    WINNER: Lawyers

    LOOSER: You and I, who will pay the fines with higher prices.

    The manufacturers don't care, because their customers will pay anyway.

    The lawyers do care, because they can make shed loads of money - from us, the customers who will eventually pay.

  • rate this
    -9

    Comment number 91.

    Never liked Apple and I still don't but patents are part of life and you gotta abide by the rules laid out before us. Samsung never innovate, they have always copied. Some argue about the vast amount of technology available on Samsung devices but that's just adding existing technology. If they can't be novel, then pay for the privilege of using Apple's patents. If not, face a lawsuit. Simple.

  • rate this
    +15

    Comment number 90.

    If this level of supposed intellectual propriety was applied to other earlier innovators, we wouldn't be able to drive cars that are similar in function and operation, as the mfc would have protected the concept of a steering wheel.
    Companies need to be aware that competition is wanted by the marketplace, and that patent protection may need to be reduced in length, and specifics, copycats allowed

 

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