Google provided funding for Samsung’s defence against Apple lawsuits

23 Apr 2014

It has been revealed in the ongoing legal battle between Samsung and Apple that Google has been funding a portion of Samsung’s defence regarding alleged patent infringements.

For the last number of weeks, the case between Apple and Samsung has been a tit-for-tat battle regarding a number of patent claims from both companies against each other for billions of dollars and this latest development shows that Google has come to the defence of the South Korean electronics manufacturer because of its association with the Android operating system.

According to CNet, Google’s patent lawyer, James Maccoum, appeared before the court admitting that a chain of emails confirmed Google’s direct funding of Samsung’s legal battle.

In front of the court, Maccoum said: “”I understand that Google is defending Samsung and that this is reflected by emails.”

The reason given for their financing is related to the ‘Mobile Application Distribution Agreement’ signed between the two companies which required Samsung to include a number of Google’s apps on to its range of Galaxy smartphones and also agreed to cover any legal costs associated with the operating system on Samsung’s phones.

Two patents in particular received the majority of Google’s backing – patents ‘414 and ‘519 – which relates to the ability to background sync in the phone and the ability to have a universal search, respectively.

The agreement between Google and Samsung is not unusual as Google has signed similar deals with most phone manufacturers running the Android operating system but this case marks the most significant to date, despite the exact figures for how much they funded Samsung’s legal defence remains un-clear.

Patent law image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic