Apple: Google Is No Friend of the Court

As much as the companies would probably like to close the book on patent litigation, the end seems to be nowhere near, and new chapters are being written nearly every day.

The latest installment of the Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung (OTC:SSNLF) saga brings a third, but significant player to the bout. Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) made an attempt to file an amicus brief for the patent infringement case that has had Apple and Samsung locked up in disputes for years. Translated as “friend of the court,” an amicus brief allows companies to weigh in on a lawsuit or case that it may not be involved in.

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However, although Google is neither a defendant or plaintiff in this situation, it certainly has interests at stake in the outcome. Google filed its brief on the side of Samsung, which uses Google’s Android operating system in several of its devices.

Because of this, Apple has responded, stating that Google’s brief is not appropriate, as the company has too much skin in the game to be considered a “friend” of the court — especially because Apple is pushing for a sales ban of Samsung’s products in question.

“The lead party on the brief, Google, Inc., admittedly has a direct interest in the outcome of this appeal.” Apple said in its reply. “As the motion explains, Google is the developer of the Android operating system running on the Samsung smartphones that Apple seeks to enjoin in this case.

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That interest conflicts with the traditional role of an amicus as ‘an impartial friend of the court –not an adversary party in interest in the litigation.’”

Historically, when entities have so much in stake, the amicus in question would more than likely be thrown out, to prevent “an end run around court-imposed limitations on the length of parties’ briefs.” Apple maintains that Google is more of a co-defendant in the case, if anything at all.

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