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WSJ: Android is the Real Target in Latest Apple vs. Samsung Patent Fight

WSJ: Android is the Real Target in Latest Apple vs. Samsung Patent Fight

The NY Times and the WSJ suggest that the real target of Apple’s latest courtroom patent skirmish against Samsung may be Google and its Android operating system.

Google Android

NY Times, via 9to5Mac:

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 

Today marks the start of jury selection for the second patent trial between the two tech giants. Earlier attempts at mediation between the two failed. The new trial centers around five patents it alleges Samsung has violated, and is asking around $2 billion in damages. Samsung counters that Apple is in violation of two of its patents.

Both the NYT and the WSJ cite law professors who agree that Google’s Android could be Apple’s real target in this go-round.

The NYT cited Mark P. McKenna, Notre Dame professor of intellectual property law, who notes, “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.”

The WSJ carried a similar opinion 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 defense is expected to center around the claim that the features Apple is suing over were already being developed in Android before the iPhone was released.

The case is expected to last about a month, and witnesses are expected to include former Android inventor/lead Andy Rubin, and Apple SVP Phil Schiller.