Apple and Samsung are starting a new episode of litigation, but Apple is also taking aim at Google and its Android operating system, according to reports.
The new Apple-Samsung trial starts Monday in San Jose, Calif. but the trial is really about Apple and Google's competing operating systems, according to the Wall Street Journal. This time Apple is accusing Samsung of patent infringement, but Samsung says that most of those features were licensed from Google -- in its operating system, Android. The argument will also be that Google had those features long before Apple.
"Google will be a lot more front and center than in previous cases," Michael Carrier, a patent expert and law professor at Rutgers University in New Jersey, told WSJ. "Google vs. Apple makes it more of a clash of the titans on the same turf."
While Google declined to comment on the lawsuit, it makes sense that eventually Apple's lawsuits against Samsung would lead to Android. Apple is seeking $2 billion in the lawsuit and if it wins, it could mean Google would have to change the Android operating system. Perhaps that's why Google engineers are expected to testify for Samsung, as well as Andy Rubin, Google's former Android chief (and Android founder). Unfortunately, the waters could be muddied because Rubin also worked for Apple from 1989 to 1992. From the WSJ:
Apple is claiming that Samsung violated patents for detecting data in messages and converting them into a link that can be clicked, background syncing of data, universal search used in its Siri voice-recognition digital assistant, an auto-complete feature that suggests words as a user is typing, and the "slide to unlock" feature.
According to Samsung, all those features except the "slide to unlock" are from the Android operating system, but since Google licenses Android for free, Apple can't really go after the tech titan damages. Instead Apple has to go after its hardware manufacturers and it wants $40 per Samsung phone.