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NewsPoster Aug 27, 2012 02:55 AM
Google issues statement on Apple versus Samsung
Google has issued its <a href="" rel='nofollow'>first comments</a> following <a href=" " rel='nofollow'>Apple's landmark victory over Samsung</a> in its US court case. Immediately following the case, the company left Apple and Samsung do the talking as both companies <a href=" ight/" rel='nofollow'>tried to lay claim</a> to the high moral ground following the $1 billion verdict. However, it appears that with speculation mounting that the outcome of the case could potentially scare off manufacturers from adopting Android, Google has released a statement on the matter arguing that the verdict has little direct bearing on the Android OS itself, reports <em>The Verge</em>.<br><br>According to Google, the company still believes that there are question marks hanging over the validity of the Apple patents put forward at the trial. It also argues that the particular aspects of the OS infringements are not critical to the Android OS."The court of appeals will review both infringement and the validity of the patent claims," reads the statement from Google. "Most of these don't relate to the core Android operating system, and several are being re-examined by the US Patent Office," the company adds.

The mobile search and advertising giant also tries to downplay the significance of Apple's technical and design achievements with the iPhone and iPad by arguing that it has only built on what has come before. "The mobile industry is moving fast and all players - including newcomers - are building upon ideas that have been around for decades," Google argues. "We work with our partners to give consumers innovative and affordable products, and we don't want anything to limit that," the statement concludes.

While the momentum is currently with Apple after its sweeping win in its case against Samsung, there may be some legitimate concerns about aspects of the court case itself, with attention now focusing on how quickly the jurors returned their verdict in what was a complex court case. Groklaw argues that this alone could be <a href=" " rel='nofollow'>sufficient grounds</a> for an appeal to potentially succeed. If the verdict was to be set aside, it could result in the two parties returning to the courtroom. However, given the certainty with which the jury sided with Apple, it is also quite possible that Samsung may be more willing to settle the matter out of court.

Either way, there can be little doubt that whether the decision survives the appeals process, Google's Android partners would be feeling a least some unease over Apple's victory. Apple has over 200 patents for both hardware and software pertaining to the iPhone and the iPad, which it has yet to test in any court case and which certain manufacturers may feel that they have run the risk of infringing. In the long term, though, Android manufacturers are likely to respond by offering products with greater differentiation leading to more choice for consumers.

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AlenShapiro Aug 27, 2012 04:21 AM
The Irony.

Does this mean that, from now on, new phones will be advertised by how different they are from the iPhone?
Foe Hammer Aug 27, 2012 05:17 AM
@alenshapiro: irony noted, but also not such a bad thing ... provided these other companies can actually innovate something worth advertising as different. Not that it's an easy task, but the first company that can take cell phones beyond the iPhone in the way that the iPhone did is going to quickly become the next Apple. Of course, Apple may become the next Apple for the same reason. (They already became the NeXT Apple many years ago ... and it wasn't a bad move.)
climacs Aug 27, 2012 05:31 AM
but they *won't* become the next Apple, because they still don't get it. It's not just hardware excellence or else Zune would have taken significant market share from iPod. It's what you can do with the hardware. Android is fundamentally flawed because 1) it's a magnet for malware 2) developers don't want to develop for Android because the users generally don't want to pay for apps, they want it all free; and Google doesn't care because free apps = mobile ad revenue for them.
pairof9s Aug 27, 2012 05:47 AM
I'd say this most definitely has significant impact on Android. Many of the infractions dealt with UI features that are a part of Android, not Samsung, such as pinch zoom and finger movements.
gprovida Aug 27, 2012 07:20 AM
Concur with Google, the vast majority of the issues are the "slavish" copying of Apple, wihile others have done this to varying degrees, Samsung was particularly egregious. Motorola, HTC, et al, can with modest effort create much more distinct UI and trade dress and not have to compete with Apple and the Apply Cloner Samsung. My bet is they will be more successful without competing with Apple and cheap knockoffs..

Android does have a lot of problems with IP, but they are manageable if they don't copy Apple look and feel, in fact, like MS might get some IP licensed.

A more severe danger to Samsung et al will be the Chinese cloners who are already emerging to be a serious threat at the low Android end and working their way up the value chain. Google is indifferent, but their current hardware partners have some serious issues. Think how Samsung gobbled up Sony market and now here come the Chinese after Samsung. Another market model is Toyota and Kia soon to be followed by Chinese autos.
DiabloConQueso Aug 27, 2012 07:28 AM
Quote, Originally Posted by AlenShapiro (Post 4186461)
The Irony.
Does this mean that, from now on, new phones will be advertised by how different they are from the iPhone?
I hope so. It's intriguing how all these different manufacturers (Samsung, Moto, Nokia, etc.) were building tons of phones, all distinctly different from each other, for decades. Flip phones, candy-bar style phones, phones with rotary dials, double-display phones, phones that double as portable gaming machines and had a form factor to match... then, Apple comes along and builds a single phone that is, arguably, radically different from all of them in more ways than one -- and now those same companies are crying, "But! But! B-b-b-b-but! A touchscreen rectangle is the ONLY way to build a phone and we don't have any ideas for anything different!"

No, it's not the only way. It's just proven to be a really good way, and you're all sour grapes that someone else did it before you and had the foresight to patent things around it and now you can't copy it.

What I hope this verdict does is cause these companies to go back to the drawing board and release some phones that are new, refreshing, different, and hopefully, addictive.

Patents aren't forever -- you can make a touchscreen, single-button, rectangle phone that runs an OS that mimics iOS sometime down the road when Apple's patents expire. For now, though, we'd like to see what your R&D companies can do when they stop looking to competitors for inspiration and really re-think what the next step in mobile computing needs to be.
I-ku-u Aug 27, 2012 08:37 AM
I've read that Groklaw article and it conflates the length of the jury instructions with their complexity. They are necessarily long because so many questions needed addressing. If the jury instructions are well written and the jurors themselves are mostly in agreement on the issues, than the jury could very easily have answered all of the issues and filled out the form in the time allowed.

Also, it's point about how two inconsistencies in the filled out form is absolute evidence that did not carefully consider the issues is also flawed - it's only evidence that they didn't thoroughly double check every detail. A small number of mistakes is understandable since they where winding up when the end of the day approached and likely felt pressure to wrap up quickly even after asking for more time. And I challenge anyone with full knowledge of all details of anything involving so many separate questions to guarantee absolute consistency when there's even a slight hint of time pressure, let alone when 9 people have to agree on each answer.
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