updated 06:51 am EDT, Mon August 27, 2012
Google defends Android and its partners in official statement
Google has issued its first comments following Apple's landmark victory over Samsung in its US court case. Immediately following the case, the company left Apple and Samsung do the talking as both companies tried to lay claim to the high moral ground following the $1 billion verdict. However, it appears that with speculation mounting that the outcome of the case could potentially scare off manufacturers from adopting Android, Google has released a statement on the matter arguing that the verdict has little direct bearing on the Android OS itself, reports The Verge.
According to Google, the company still believes that there are question marks hanging over the validity of the Apple patents put forward at the trial. It also argues that the particular aspects of the OS infringements are not critical to the Android OS."The court of appeals will review both infringement and the validity of the patent claims," reads the statement from Google. "Most of these don't relate to the core Android operating system, and several are being re-examined by the US Patent Office," the company adds.
The mobile search and advertising giant also tries to downplay the significance of Apple's technical and design achievements with the iPhone and iPad by arguing that it has only built on what has come before. "The mobile industry is moving fast and all players -- including newcomers -- are building upon ideas that have been around for decades," Google argues. "We work with our partners to give consumers innovative and affordable products, and we don't want anything to limit that," the statement concludes.
While the momentum is currently with Apple after its sweeping win in its case against Samsung, there may be some legitimate concerns about aspects of the court case itself, with attention now focusing on how quickly the jurors returned their verdict in what was a complex court case. Groklaw argues that this alone could be sufficient grounds for an appeal to potentially succeed. If the verdict was to be set aside, it could result in the two parties returning to the courtroom. However, given the certainty with which the jury sided with Apple, it is also quite possible that Samsung may be more willing to settle the matter out of court.
Either way, there can be little doubt that whether the decision survives the appeals process, Google's Android partners would be feeling a least some unease over Apple's victory. Apple has over 200 patents for both hardware and software pertaining to the iPhone and the iPad, which it has yet to test in any court case and which certain manufacturers may feel that they have run the risk of infringing. In the long term, though, Android manufacturers are likely to respond by offering products with greater differentiation leading to more choice for consumers.