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Google Releases Statement on Samsung Vs. Apple, Says the Patents Involved Don’t Relate to Core Android

We have all had a few days to read and react to the verdict that was handed down last Friday against Samsung in the trial against Apple. It was a landslide victory for Apple and a huge loss for Samsung (pending appeals, of course), but Google has released a memo over the weekend saying that this ruling doesn’t necessarily mean a loss for Android. 

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 is correct in this statement, saying that the verdict was an indictment of Samsung as a company, not Android as a whole. Still, it’s a little disconcerting to see Google release a statement so non-supportive of their biggest Android OEM. Then again, they did tell Samsung that their designs looked too much like Apple’s and recommended that they change them.

Do you want to see Google fighting for their Android OEMs more or do you think they’re doing all they can?

Via: BBC

  • derp

    ummm i think it’s mostly software…. not hard ware… and i doubt Samsung did much programing them selves that infringed upon apples patents..

  • dmagicp

    I have no problem with Googles statement because I distinctly remember Google saying that the Android OS was designed to be complete and ready for consumption by the consumer, meaning vanilla Android, but that OEM’s were still able to tweak the OS to suit their hardware if they chose to. If Samsung would have stuck to Vanilla Android, not made their UI and launcher look so much like apple’s, and avoided the close similarity to apples hardware, it probably would have made it a little harder to convince the dumb jurers that the Samsung phone was an iphone. Now with all of the above being said, I still think that the patents filed on pinch to zoom, and one finger scroll are absolutely ridiculous because there is obviously no other way to interact with a touchscreen than to touch it, and the damn patents should never have been granted in the first place. Now as far as the rectangle with rounded corners thing, it’s obvious that a cell phone is going to be a rectangle, but Samsung you kind of asked for it with that one. But all of this is water under the bridge now, because with the SIII, the Note, and other more recent hardware examples, it has become clear that Samsung has gone in a completely new direction and is now designing smartphones that are much more beautiful than the iphone could ever be.

  • Raven

    Anyone with any interest in this case should be following it on Groklaw. They seem to have some of the best explanations of the legal issues involved here:

  • Correct me if I’m wrong isn’t Apple Computer a copy of the whole IBM/HP PC market?

  • Alan Paone

    I think Google hates to say try told them so. Samsung lost because they took android and made it more like iOS, like with the rubberband scrolling. This isn’t googles problem and even this loss isn’t a problem for Google. At least now, they’ll have less trouble dragging android in its own direction.

  • Rich Aulet

    Let me first say that I am far from involved with this and stating opinion and know my way isn’t necessarily right. I see both sides as Google is like a parent as where Samsung is a child. The parent is always semi responsible for the child’s actions, they are also not always to blame. I think Google should have stricter rules to prevent this from occurring. I truly believe that if all Android OEMs worked together and/or competed a little less, they would crush Apple. The big upside to Apple that I hear time and time again is uniformity. The difference going from Samsung to HTC intimidate users. I think if Google had more of a hands-on approach or even Google had to approve devices or something I think Android would be better off.

    Long story short, I think all OEM and Google need to communicate better. I’ve seen one commercial for the Nexus 7 and its a steal. I’ve told 10 people about it and 8 people purchased one. Not to mention, the average user reads what they want to read. So while it isn’t a blow at Android itself, people may take it as that and not buy an HTC or just say yea Android is a copy of Apple they suck. Everyone has to read this G+ post about the Samsung Apple verdict (Just shortened it to make easier to copy and paste) http://goo.gl/szJiH

  • buzzchilly

    I think Apple has every intent to “destroy” Android and this verdict is just a start. Apple stated that they have no intent to market the patents. They intend to use them to squash competition. They may succeed if the patent process is not modified.

  • EvanTheGamer

    Android is community driven, and because of that, Android will NEVER die!

    Also, Apple can suck it.

  • Adrynalyne

    Non-supportive? What are they supposed to do? Make a public statement that they are going after Apple to avenge Samsung? That would be pretty stupid of them.

  • Even if people don’t buy Samsung anymore or whatever, it does not mean that they will neccesarily buy an Apple phone. My mom who owns an Apple tablet, recently purchased an S3 (without coming to me first), and she said she has no desire to purchase an Apple phone even though she loves her tablet.

  • Chris Clancy

    Samsung are big boys and don’t need Google to “stick up” for them (nor should Google). Although I don’t really see why Google even needed to acknowledge / disavow any wrong doing… Apple wants nothing to do with Google in court.

    • TheWenger


      Suing Google won’t get Apple much money, so I’m sure they’re waiting to win enough against OEMs so they can go against Google and have Android AOSP removed forever.

      • Chris Clancy

        Apple has more in the war chest than Google does…. so I am not sure they are looking to pad their bank account before potentially going after Google…. i just think they would lose and they know it (and would look silly in the process, similar to how silly they look now even after a victory against samsung).

  • Answer2K1

    I pretty much understand the Apple v Samsung fight and results, although, it looks like different countries see things differently.
    So I guess my leftover questions are:
    #1 – How is Android copying iOS or how did Android copy iOS (since Android itself can’t copy the iPhone)?
    #2 – How is the Galaxy Nexus a copycat device, just what was copied, the device or OS?
    #3 – Saw alot of “analysts” say that Android/Google may now be in trouble and that Apple is working its way up to a mega-court battle with them. What exactly would Apple be suing Google for?
    **Note** – Asking these questions here because I respect the Droid-Life’s editors’ and community’s responses, most are pretty reasonable and informative.

  • Jacob Svonavec

    The Courts are just blind. In my mind and most dont see how the galaxy product line looks like apples ugly, tiny phone. I use to enjoy the apple products, but not now, after they just prove that they are just bully’s. They can pound salt.

  • David Henry

    Is everyone as annoyed as I am about all photos shown of Samsung Android phones are always in the App drawer? The App drawer just shows apps, which is similar to Apple’s uncreative desktop. I think the picture should be of the phones desktop which will likely help distinguish them

    • TheWenger

      Oh but that would make way too much sense 😉

  • Bionicman

    ehhh let us not forget that many people enjoy touchwiz (i personally don’t). i think Google should help Samsung because if OEM’s are afraid to design android phones in fear of Apple taking them to court, we’ll see less innovation and features. not to mention that i dont think Android would have had as much success if it weren’t for Samsung…

    • TheDrizzle

      > “…we’ll see less innovation and features.”

      Not necessarily. We may see MORE innovation and features. Specifically innovations that stray away from the iPhone. Sounds good to me.

      • Bionicman

        I’ve read that from a lot articles/comments but here is my thought. what or who is going to stop apple from trying to get patents for color combinations, keyboards, dialer skins. when will it end? when they have full control over most designs or features? i think if Google sits around and allows this to happen, they may suffer in the long run. i hope i’m wrong…

  • EDNYLaw

    Google did what was reasonable, and what, as an attorney, I would have advised them to do. Google advised Samsung that their “creations” were a little to close to iOS for comfort. They did their due diligence, Google couldn’t (or at least it wouldn’t be good business practice, lest they be labeled a totalitarian company with draconian policies… Apple) to force Samsung to conform to their standards. Google shouldn’t waste money helping out OEMs who outright copy. Hopefully, this will be a lesson to all other OEMs, differentiate your product or use AOSP. I’ve used Touchwiz and Motoblur. Touchwiz is horrible (except for the toggles in the notifcation bar) and Motoblur, while certainly the least offensive and continually getting better, gives no added features that I can’t get with an app or a custom ROM.

    However, in no way am I defending the corrupt patent system that apparently allows you to patent a rectangle with rounded corners. I think my favorite argument is that if this were in any other field, lets say automobiles, every car maker would be infringing on each other’s products. Nine out of ten cars look the same to me. But because we have so may people in office that DO NOT understand technology at all, we get stupid decisions like this. The answer is patent reform and education. But sadly, neither of those things is a top priority in the US.

    • Finally a solid reasonable response, the patent system is screwed, not only in technology but pharmaceuticals too. we have life saving drugs that have 14+ years sold for $10 plus a pill. There is a hepatitis medication on the market that cost $18,000 a month, seriously patent reform should be on the horizon i agree if you can patent a rectangle with beveled edges something is wrong!

  • Destroythanet

    Why should Google defend a company who they already warned for making hardware too similar to Apple and who in all those emails were absolutely drooling over the iPhone and iOS in page after page?

  • What I don’t understand is, if Apple keeps playing hardball with all the company—many which manufacturer iPhone components—why don’t they just stop selling them to Apple? I understand it’s a revenue stream, and Apple has been weening off of said companies, but I wouldn’t sell anything to a company abusing the patent system to sue me.

    • jak_341

      Samsung Mobile and Samsung Semiconductor are two separate entities. The Semiconductor business is more profitable than mobile.

  • Destroythanet

    So is $1.04 billion enough to finally convince Samsung to ditch Touchwiz? I’ll take Vanilla Android any day of the week.

  • I always thought that Touchwiz was way too similar to iOS, and the internal emails telling the devs to actually make it like that are what killed Samsung here. Vanilla Android, Sense, etc. all manage to keep an original look about them (as original as you can get while dealing with ages-old square icons), and Samsung screwed themselves by pushing the limits.

    Google releases the code, they can’t help the absolute stupidity of their vendors. I don’t blame them at all for distancing themselves from Samsung here – it’s like hanging out with a bunch of friends and one of them suddenly spouting off misogynist crap at a bar where you were trying to meet women. As much as you like the guy normally, you aren’t going to let him being a di*c ruin your night.

    • Aardvark99

      iPhone-less carriers at the time were desperate to complete with the iPhone. Samsung very clearly tried to make a look-alike products because of this (Fascinate for one). I really doubt people were confused that they were buying an iPhone, but I’m sure many who wanted an iPhone opted for some of these devices (vs. changing carriers).

  • Why the hell should Google stick up for OEMs if they infringe on patents? Am I missing something here? Google has nothing to do with this case.

    • Cam

      I think it’s the stick-up-for-your-buddies mentality.
      I agree on Google’s move here. They warned Samsung, they didn’t listen. Maybe this is the sort of thing that should be a ‘leaked company memo’ though, rather than an official statement. It does come off as a bit of a public rebuke. But, the statement is true and it distances them from the verdict.

      I’m just wondering if there is any way that Google can jump in and assail the Apple patents without actually being invited to the party. If so, that seems like the right move here, and a productive way to back up your OEMs.

      • There is NO WAY Google would ever want to get involved in a case like this, unless they’re legally obligated to. That would be a horrible business decision.

        • Cam

          Sorry, I guess saying ‘the party’ made it sound like I meant this particular case. I meant, could they open a new case, not related to this one, challenging those patents.

          • I think they’re already planning a case to put a stop to the silly patent warfare.

    • Jarred Sutherland

      I don’t think they are sticking up for them. They are just making the statement (as others have pointed out) that Android isn’t the problem.

    • Just look at the Samsung phone before the Galaxy Nexus — they really do look like the iPhone. Is there another way to make a phone that looks great and doesn’t look like an iPhone. Absolutely! I love the design of Sony’s Xperia 2012 series, and also the Motorola RAZR. And, the S3, to me, the blue one looks great and it does not look like an iPhone. So, there is really no excuse for Samsung for making some of its phone look so much like the iPhone.

      Now, to the software. The icons’ design, and the colorful scheme of TouchWiz is not Android — Samsung chose such design for a reason, and we all know why they did that.

      It’s the technical patent that I am siding with Samsung, not the trade dress.

    • Liderc

      Maybe it’s because Samsung was sued for “pinch to zoom,” “one finger scroll,” “swipe to unlock.” These ARE core android features. If Samsung was only being sued for the physical design of their phones then sure, stay out of it, but Samsung is using Google’s OS and being sued for it.

      • Guest

        And these things are not brought by Apple first at all.


      • And these things are not brought by Apple in the first place.


      • michael arazan

        This case is a proxy war though samsung on Google. Sooner or later Apple is going to sue Google, and when it does the gloves come off, and will span every continent’s judicial system in several countries. Samsung’s defense should of been how Apple copied Google to begin with. But their will be more proxy wars against Google to come.

      • I totally agree with this, why isn’t apple going after Android for “slide to unlock” and pinch to “zoom”? I feel these functions are necessary for all smartphones in order to compete, how else can you intuitively zoom into an image on a smartphone? Maybe i’m missing something and if so, please explain it to me but, what if Mercedes sued Ford for the use of door handles to get in and out of vehicles?

  • imronburgundy

    I’m interested to see if this leads to abandonment of TouchWiz and other manufacturer skins.

    • MikeSaver

      God, I hope so. None are as good as stock Android and just makes things even more confusing for consumers.

      • imronburgundy


  • sc0rch3d

    Google is doing fine here. If Samsung infringed software wise on Apple, then Samsung shouldn’t have added things on top of the Core OS. If Samsung infringes on hardware patents…why the hell should Google care?

  • Joey

    But Android IS copying the iPhone OS, is it not? They were first with tons of these options Android now provides…

    • Murphy


      • I think he’s being sarcastic.

      • Joey

        Not really bro, Google copies everything Apple does. I’m a current Nexus user and can’t wait to switch over to the iPhone 5. Android is too buggy for me. Along with 1/5 other Android users that will be switching to iPhone as well.

        • Dr_Buttballs

          Have fun being 2 years behind the curve then.

          • MikeSaver

            lol yeah exactly.

        • KleenDroid

          Joey you are supposed to pay attention during your “pre applied math” class or you will end up failing it again. But if you try really hard and stay off the message boards during class you may make it to pre algebra by the 12th grade.

          Keep up the good work Joey!

        • “Everything” is a pretty broad term. Do you have specific examples? Usually when people say something like that they are just repeating a rumor they heard. What specifically has Google copied from apple?

        • Jonathan Williams

          Lets all bow our heads and say a small prayer to the Jesus phone… /s

    • Yeah, like the notification center in iOS. Android totally stole that from iOS. 😉

    • Josh Barnes

      Have you used an Android phone? It’s pretty clear who the innovators are in the smartphone industry and Apple would not be at the top of the list although they have a few good ideas. They’ve stolen just as much or more from Android as Samsung did from iOS.

      • MikeSaver

        Apple spends only 3% of their revenue on R&D. Hmm, and Google spends way more than that just to steal from them?

  • Matt

    So let me get this straight.. Samsung is going to have to pay a billion dollars because they wanted to use TouchWiz? If they kept the stock Android interface this would not have gone to court?

    • AlexKCMO

      Not necessarily true. See Apple suing over the Galaxy Nexus.

      • KleenDroid

        Wasn’t that just over unified search which has been corrected?

        • TheWenger

          I wouldn’t say corrected. More like circumvented.

        • Initially it was. Now they are saying the nexus is a full iPhone copy and taking it to court again.

          • KleenDroid

            That’s odd. I own a nexus and I don’t see any similarities to my friends iPhone.

          • ERIC REED

            I agree there is no comparison. If my iphone had that camera,external speaker and battery life I would throw it against the freaking wall. I was way too happy to sell that POS!!

          • You might have valid points, however I get better reception on my gnex than my girlfriends iPhone4. If I play music on my phone I hook it to headphones or Bluetooth into my car stereo and pictures suck on both phones. That’s why instagram filters are so popular.

          • ERIC REED

            The pictures my 4s takes could replace a lot of point and shoots. And the radio on the Gnex I had couldn’t keep a signal. My 4s is never without. And to use the phone on speaker I shouldn’t have to hold it next to my head, other wise I wouldn’t have it on speaker phone!!!

          • Never had the speaker phone issue. I suppose if it’s so noisy that I can’t hear the speakerphone, then I’d be a dick for using speakerphone in a crowded area.

            I’m not sure the cameras you’re comparing it to but that’s just not true. It’s just not possible with the small form factor of the sensor and the lack of a decent lens. Perhaps if you’re only looking at pictures on the phone, if that’s the case then they both do just fine.

          • ERIC REED

            I see you are bashing a phone you have never used. The pictures on my 4S are a pleasure to view on my home computer. As far as the external speaker, Volumn+ made my speaker sound a crackling mess. And from having and using both the Galaxy Nexus does not hold up well to the 4S. My galaxy S3 holds up quite well!! I love mobile devices and will give credit where it’s due, and I feel the nexus doesn’t deserve it’s praise. I should not have to go through options to make the phone acceptable.

          • Dain Laguna

            Ha, well played sir. However, nexus phones are about software, not hardware. But ill take the 4s camera all day over my gnex. The next nexus will address this i hope.

          • SolipsisticPsychologist

            Not odd at all actually. It’s never been about such legally foreign concepts such as “facts” and “reality”. It’s simply in this case, nothing more than a big bully not wanting to outshine the competition with innovation and creativity, but instead wanting to destroy any competition through unethical, immoral, and unscrupulous means. When you have the largest bank account in America, petty things like ethics don’t matter one iota. And if you can’t beat them, you pay to destroy them, at least that is Apple’s mindset, and one only needs to view Jobs’ quote about “going thermonuclear war on Android”, to understand what kind of unethical and juvenile company you are dealing with here. I’m sure it will one day come back to bite them though, as it often does when you don’t “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.

          • UrDoGG

            Well they will have a fun time proving that one. It just seems like Apple is using their new-found clout from their recent win to muscle their way into getting the GNEX banned. It’s not going to happen.

        • AlexKCMO

          They also said the G-Nex unlock screen was a ripoff of Slide to Unlock.

      • SolipsisticPsychologist

        It was probably the gay apples that pop up on this site, any time Apple beats up someone on the mobile playground, and steals their 1 billion dollars worth of lunch money. Fruits will be fruity.

  • MikeSaver

    Google just needed to make it clear that it wasn’t Android copying Iphone. I think thats more important.

    • TheWenger

      Sad thing is it won’t matter. I’m sure Apple has dozens of other broad concept patents lined up to go into the torpedo chute. They’ll never stop until Android doesn’t exist. Jobs Jihad.

  • AndroidLiberationFront

    Yes Google should go to bat for the OEMs more, or do it for them selves. Apple rips off android so much its not funny but Google wont sue them for it. Its time for a taste of there own medicine.

    • nateme94

      Greatest thing ever would be to see Apple pay Google a couple billion…

    • Hunter

      Its not the kind of company Google is, and I respect them for it. They support whatever is best for the consumer. Billions in lawsuits just raises my prices while lining the pockets of Executives, Stockholders, and Lawyers. No thanks!

      • AndroidLiberationFront

        I get that and i liked it to, but how long can you sit by and play nice when dealing with a company like apple that admits to stealing ideas. Then sues every one for “stealing” there ideas that the them selves stole from someone else?

        • Hunter

          Understandable. But Google simply needs to weather the storm. Apple is digging their own grave. I don’t want to see Google stoop to Apple’s level.

  • I think that Google has to tread a fine line here with their support of Samsung. If Sammy ends up not winning appeals – then Google could very well be seen as complicit in their infringement.

  • KleenDroid