Photo: Reuters

Photo: Reuters

Pieces in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal suggest that the real target of Apple’s second courtroom patent battle with Samsung may be Android.

Some features in Samsung devices that Apple objects to are part of Google’s Android operating system, by far the most popular mobile operating system worldwide, running on more than a billion devices made by many manufacturers. That means that if Apple wins, Google could have to make changes to critical Android features, and Samsung and other Android phone makers might have to modify the software on their phones …

Jury selection begins today for the second patent case between the two companies after mediation attempts failed. Apple is seeking around $2B in damages for five patents it alleges Samsung has violated, while Samsung is counter-claiming that Apple is in violation of two of its own patents.

Apple’s patent claims include slide-to-unlock and the ability to simultaneously search a device and the Internet.

The NYT cites Mark P. McKenna, Notre Dame professor of intellectual property law, in support of its contention that Android is the real target here.

Google’s been lurking in the background of all these cases because of the Android system. Several people have described the initial battle between Samsung and Apple as really one between Apple and Google.

While the WSJ has a similar comment from Michael Carrier, a patent expert and law professor at Rutgers University.

Google will be a lot more front and center than in previous cases. Google vs. Apple makes it more of a clash of the titans on the same turf.

Samsung’s defence is expected to major on the claim that the disputed features were already in development in Android before the iPhone was released, putting Android at the heart of the dispute. It has already been ruled that Samsung did infringe on autocomplete functionality, which is part of Android.

Former Android lead/inventor Andy Rubin is listed as a potential witness, again putting Android to the fore. On the Apple side, senior VP Phil Schiller is expected to testify.

The case is expected to last around a month.

In the previous patent case between the two companies, Apple was initially awarded $1B in damages before $450M was cut, with a retrial ordered to look again at the damages awarded for some of the patents. The retrial awarded Apple $290M instead for that portion of the case, giving Apple a revised total award of $930M. Apple did, however, fail in an attempt to obtain an injunction against the products found to infringe its patents.

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19 Responses to “Is Android the real target of latest Apple vs Samsung patent battle that starts today?”

  1. rogifan says:

    But I thought this dispute was all about “rounded rectangles”? At least that’s what Samsung and the Apple haters have been telling us for the past two years.


  2. This is crazy. Apple should concentrate on making great products that people want to buy, not litigation. I love my iPad mini and iPad Air, and I’d never get anything else. However, I traded my iPhone for a Galaxy S4. Android, with the Kitkat version, is simply a better platform for a smartphone. It looks just as nice, and has a notification center that is far and away more useful. Also, its way more flexible. I don’t have to describe how, since this is all old news.


    • rahhbriley says:



    • agreed… My 2007 MacBook to this day has been rock solid! but my 2013 MacBook Air not so much! Apple still makes some of the greatest products in terms of quality, but not compared to Apple 7 years ago


    • Isn’t that kind of the point, though? Apple takes the route of litigation BECAUSE they see customers trading their iPhones for samsung products that have a complete(r) feature set BECAUSE samsung (arguably) stole a number of their features. That’s the whole point, if the Samsung Galaxy S line wasn’t basically a series of improved iPhone clones (that’s the idea of the trials, I never owned a galaxy, so I’m not giving my personal view here) but just a great original samsung product, Apple would not litigate. Also, if samsung just admitted they copied stuff and took a licensing deal like HTC did, there would be no more litigation, instead Samsung continues to copy and continues to claim they invented it first in some backroom nobody ever saw and just forgot to patent it (like they did with tv’s before).


    • Me and same of my friends done the same but, I will trade my GS4 for an iPhone 6 (when Apple releases it). Problems were

      1) Play Store is much inferior to the App Store. For me, apps are the only thing that makes smartphones ”smart” without apps, both Android Phones and iPhone would be feature phones with a touch screen. Play Store contains too much malware, spams and inappropriate apps. Most of the ”original” apps have fake ones with malware.

      2) GS4 has too much bugs and problems. After 6 months, I see a significant drop in battery life, and there is too much bugs. Sometimes notification center sometimes stops working, sometimes phone reboots for no reason, sometimes apps crash (this happen often)

      3) GS4 has too much bloatware and useless features. OK, Air gestures, Smart Scroll etc. was interesting for 1 week. Then, I never activated them again. Because they are not really useful and they usually don’t work properly. Also Samsung downloaded tons of useless apps, they consume half of the phone’s memory and I need to root my phone to get rid of them, for me Android is only open for manufacturer not customer

      4) GS4 and Touchwiz is simply ugly. That plastic feel, becomes more and more annoying. And both Touchwiz UI and GS4 is too ugly, it doesn’t looks like it’s worth it

      5) Android is too slow, even camera app takes a lot of time to open.

      So, most of my friends traded their GS4s and bought iPhone 5S but, I will probably wait until iPhone 6.


      • Elias Koch says:

        Well mister, you know what’s Android, Windows Phone and IOS? The world is a bit more bigger than Iphone and Galaxy S as the rainbow is a bit more than black and white. Why don’t you give a chance to one of the 50 more producers? Samsung fill devices with his crap, ok, Apple too. Maybe some third society could get more in touch with you than those 2…


    • The way iOS and Android handle notifications is different. I never hear android fans asking for badges on their apps but I think that they are actually more useful than the notification center. I don’t need to open the notification center to see if I have notifications or not, and the bar on top isn’t crowded by icons. If I need to know what message I received for example, it’s faster to just open the messages app rather than opening the notification bar and replying from there like in Android. This is a non-problem.


  3. rahhbriley says:

    This brought back my disappointment that Spotlight in iOS 7 no longer searches the web. The feature I personally miss the most. Maybe they have bigger plans for it and pulled back to do something more with it. I dream Spotlight will be Apples search engine, baked right into the iOS, for searching the device, web, iTunes/App Store, and social. Apple has purchased smaller search companies, I’d love to see them utilized this way.


    • rettun1 says:

      Spotlight does search the web


      • rahhbriley says:

        Okay this is weird…you’re right it is there…BUT
        With some web searching, I think I determined that it wasn’t restored until 7.0.3
        I missed that it returned. Believe me, it was not there with 7.0 the day I first updated. Never rechecked to see if it was back. Soo HAPPY it’s back. Thanks for pointing it out to me.
        I don’t like that it is at the bottom of the list, but I’m guessing with tweaking I can maybe fix that…maybe not.


    • Uhm… it actually does.


      • rahhbriley says:

        Thanks! It had been removed, and then restored in 7.0.3 and I hadn’t noticed because it was at the bottom of the list results. Made my day to find it was there again!


  4. I’m no expert, but I’d go as far as to say it has been all along.


  5. desksaver says:

    Seriously??? You have to ask the question?

    You may as well do an article on ‘Is my Mom a woman?’ because that would be a bit less obvious than the question you are asking here.