Will Apple Attack Google Directly in Anti-Android Campaign?

By Lisa Shuchman, Corporate Counsel


In the wake of Apple Inc.’s recent $1 billion patent-trial victory over Samsung Electronics, Google Inc. distanced itself from the verdict with a statement stressing that most of the patent claims in that case “don’t relate to the core Android operating system” it created to power mobile devices.

But does that mean Google won’t be Apple’s next target?

“The verdict is definitely a thorn in Google’s side, but this is not an Android killer,” said Robert Barr, executive director of the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology. “It will continue to be a war by proxy.”


The big Samsung verdict could spur mobile device makers to reduce their reliance on Android and partner with makers of other operating systems. Earlier this week, for example, the Korea Times reported that Samsung was looking into partnering with Microsoft Corp. It’s just as likely, however, that phone makers that use Android will work closely with Google to update the operating system in ways that work around the infringing patents, Barr said.

“This is how the patent system works,” Barr said. “It’s supposed to protect and encourage innovation instead of imitation.”