Google’s response to Samsung US$1bn fine – claims don’t relate to core Android OS

27 Aug 2012

Technology giant Google has adopted a sanguine demeanor in the aftermath of a major verdict that saw a jury impose a US$1bn fine on Samsung in its case against Apple. Google simply said the claims in the case don’t relate to the core Android operating system.

On Friday a nine-person jury at a court in San Jose, California, fined Samsung US$1.05bn. Working through a list of devices and arguments the nine-person jury decided largely in favour of Apple and found none of the Californian tech companies patents invalid.

The question now is what will Apple do next. Will it pick off proponents of the Samsung OS like HTC and Sony one by one, or will it bring the battle directly to the owner and developer of the Android OS – Google.

The heart of the issue is Apple’s iPhone and related iPad devices and whether or not other manufacturers have benefited materially from its invention, which effectively reinvigorated the smartphone and computing as we know it since 2007. The heart of the issue is IP, what constitutes FRAND anymore and how far are firms willing to go to test the limits on IP and patent law to achieve short term results.

In a widely reported statement issued over the weekend 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,” Google said.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years