Apple, Samsung Head Back to Court — Again

Once again, Apple and Samsung are in court to deal with a new set of patent disputes. Even though Apple initiated the lawsuit and is asking for a $2 billion settlement, Samsung has been firing back with its own complaints, suggesting that Apple has copied some ideas and features.

The companies involved are the largest smartphone manufacturers in the world, so whichever side wins, the marketplace could be greatly impacted.

Unlike previous Apple versus Samsung battles, Google is directly involved and will even be represented in the case. Since Google makes Android, the OS that powers SamsungEUs smartphones, it has always been involved to some extent. However, this time, Apple is targeting features that may have been created by Google.

GoogleEUs Role

Based on court documents, Apple believes that Samsung has infringed upon five software patents, though according to Samsung, four of those were originally filed by Google. Core features like EUslide to unlockEU are included in patents held by Apple, but Google allegedly worked on those same features before Apple filed its patents. At least one Google employee, engineer Andy Rubin, is listed as a witness and is therefore expected to defend Samsung.

Even though it may be difficult for Google to prove its case, the topic of standard-essential patents is very much in evidence. Just as in previous lawsuits, Apple is targeting its competitors based on patents that protect very basic software features that are now included in most smartphones.

We caught up with Jeff Kagan, an independent technology analyst, to get his opinion on the latest lawsuit. He told us that this is just another way for companies to compete against each other, and considering the information that has been released, it is difficult to determine what Apple hopes to achieve.

EUIt's hard to know what the motives are....

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