By now we’ve all had chance to digest Apple’s landslide victory over Samsung last Friday, which saw the Cupertino company awarded just over $1 billion in damages. Both companies gave their own thoughts on the verdict with press releases shortly after it was announced, but the affects of this case will be felt by more than just Apple and Samsung.
As the creator of Android — the operating system that powers Samsung’s offending devices — you’d think that Google would have some concerns that the verdict will affect its own software. However, the company maintains that the claims involved “don’t relate to the core Android operating system.”
In a statement to The Verge, Google said:
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.
Admittedly, the company does make a good point. Some mobile industry “players” are “building upon ideas that have been around for decades.” But unfortunately, some of them are also building upon ideas that are patented by Apple — as its recent win over Samsung has proven. And Google know patents are important. After all, would it have spent $12.5 billion on Motorola Mobility if it didn’t?
Samsung’s appeal means this case if far from over yet, and as Google notes in its statement, the U.S. Patent Office is reexamining the validity of some of the patents involved in the case. But with Apple patents covering this as simple as the home screen, it’s hard to imagine that the recent verdict won’t affect more Android vendors in future.
After all, the Samsung Nexus S was one of the handsets deemed guilty of infringement in the trial, and that runs core Android.