Android Exec Takes Stand for Samsung in Patent Trial Against Apple
On Friday, a prominent Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) executive from the company’s Android division testified in Samsung’s (SSNLF.PK) defense in the ongoing patent-infringement trial against Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), reports CNET. Apple has accused Samsung of infringing on five of its software patents with features that are found on several of the company’s Android-based devices. On the other hand, Samsung has argued that the most of the disputed features cited by Apple were independently invented for the Android operating system by Google’s engineers.
Vice president of engineering for Android Hiroshi Lockheimer echoed Samsung’s argument in his testimony on Friday. Lockheimer dismissed Apple’s accusations that the Android team copied features from the iOS operating system. “We liked to have our own identity; we liked to have our own ideas,” said Lockheimer according to CNET. “We were very passionate about what we were doing, and it was important that we have our own ideas.”
The patents in dispute cited by Apple in this trial cover various smartphone technologies, including a universal search feature used by Siri, a “slide-to-unlock” feature, an “autocomplete” feature, a “quick links” data detection method, and a background synching technology. All of the patents except for the “slide-to-unlock” patent involve technologies that are found in the Android mobile operating system. Since Apple is primarily targeting technologies found in Android, Samsung has enlisted multiple witnesses from Google that will testify that the disputed features were invented by the Android team first.
Apple is not suing Google directly since the company only makes the mobile device software and not the hardware. However, as noted by CNET, Samsung attorney John Quinn characterized Apple’s lawsuit as “an attack on Android.”
According to CNET, Samsung will call additional Google executives to testify on its behalf next week, including Dianne Hackborn and Cary Clark. Apple rested its case on Friday after asking the jury to award the iPhone maker approximately $2 billion in damages. Samsung has countered by claiming Apple is infringing on two of its patents and is seeking about $7 million in damages.
The two smartphone makers have been engaged in multiple legal battles in various courtrooms around the world ever since Apple filed its first patent-infringement lawsuit against Samsung in 2011. In a patent-infringement damages retrial last November, a jury ruled that Samsung must pay Apple more than $290 million in damages over thirteen products that were found to be infringing on five of the iPhone maker’s patents. Along with the damages award from a previous patent-infringement trial, Samsung now owes Apple approximately $930 million. Samsung will continue presenting its case when the current trial continues on Monday, April 14.
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