What Does Google Have at Stake in Apple v. Samsung?

As Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung fight it out in a California courtroom, non-participant Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is watching anxiously. Apple, after all, has targeted manufacturers of devices that use Google’s Android mobile operating system in more countries than one. Samsung, then, is just a proxy for Google in this particular case, according to the Wall Street Journal because the trial will either put a dent in or strengthen Apple’s larger contention that Google devices copy off it.

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Apple has sued Samsung for $2.5 billion for allegedly copying its patented technology, though the Korean company has made its own counter-charges.

The Apple-Google uneasiness has existed from the time Steve Jobs first accused Android of being “a stolen product,” and these new lawsuits that the iPhone maker has sprung up against several manufacturers are just a new chapter in its original fight. While Google employees are not expected to testify, legal representatives from the search company will possibly attend the trial and its name is likely to crop up during proceedings. Google lawyers have been helping manufacturers sued by Apple with matters such as disclosure of internal company documents.

Google will also have another direct interest in the case as Motorola, which Google acquired earlier this year, is involved in its own fight against Apple. It has complained to the International Trade Commission that the iPhone maker violated its patents related to wireless standards. Samsung is using the same type of patents in its defense in the current case.

“It really feels like Apple versus Google instead of Apple and the company whose name is on the suit,” Brian Love, a professor at Santa Clara University School of Law who specializes in patents, told WSJ.

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