Google, along with several other companies, filed a "friends of the court" brief on behalf of Samsung earlier this week and Apple is now saying Google's involvement isn't impartial. The brief was filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals in response to Apple's efforts to get a ruling denying a permanent injunction blocking the sale of some Android-based Samsung mobile devices overturned.
Apple says Google's involvement in Samsung's patent fight isn't impartial
Several companies filed the joint brief on Monday urging the court to back Samsung and leave Judge Lucy Koh's ruling in place denying a permanent injunction. She made that ruling following Apple's big patent infringement win against Samsung in August 2012, where a preliminary injunction was already in place. The devices in question aren't available any more, or Samsung has found ways to work around Apple's patents, so the company doesnt feel there's a need to impose a permanent injunciton.
According to Samsung, imposing a permanent injunciton would only serve to confuse people, and Apple would use it to intimidate retailers into not selling other Samsung products.
Apple is now saying that Google shouldn't be allowed to file a friends of the court brief because the company has a vested interest in the Appeals Court ruling since it makes the operating system Samsung's infringing devices run. According to Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents, a friends of the court (amicus curiae) is supposed to be impartial, which Apple is arguing Google isn't.
Mr. Mueller stated,
Apple apparently believes that if Google has anything to say, it should cooperate with the Samsung entities that have to defend themselves in this litigation because that would be the appropriate channel. Basically, Google is a co-defendant.
In other words, instead of filing a brief as an impartial party, Google should be working directly with Samsung because of its vested interest.
Apple isn't opposing the involvement of the other companies listed in the amicus brief, which included HTC, Red Hat, SAP and Rackspace.
Assuming Apple is right, Google is trying to influence the court without actually becoming involved in the trail, and that's something the iPhone and iPad maker doesn't want. It may also be an indicator that the patent library Google acquired when it bought Motorola Mobility isn't proving to be as useful as originally hoped.
Mr. Mueller added, "By now it's pretty clear that Google lacks leverage to get away with infringement and can't help its partners other than in purely defensive terms."