Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG), which has been pretty quiet in the multi-billion-dollar patent-infringement case between Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung, was finally brought out into the light when a collection of e-mails were introduced as evidence, that seemed to indicate Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) executives urged Samsung designers to change the look and feel of its smartphones and tablets so they would not look too similar to the iPhone or iPad from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL).
With Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) investing so much in the success of Samsung and its use of the Android operating system, there are plenty of hedge funds who are looking closely at this trial. Those invested in Google include Julian Robertson’s Tiger Management, while Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) stakeholders include David Einhorn’s Greenlight Capital.
An Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) attorney introduced e-mails from February 2010 that showed that Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) – which runs the Android operating system for Samsung’s smartphones and tablets – wanted to provide some design advice to Samsung designers to make sure that the devices would not look too much like iPhones and iPads.
“Since it is too similar to Apple, make it noticeably different starting with the front side,” the internal Samsung e-mail said, referring to Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) executives giving feedback from an internal meeting to discuss the tablets and smartphone designs.In another e-mail directed to 30 Samsung employees, “Google is demanding distinguishable design vis-à-vis the iPad,” the e-mail said. “Consider design distinguishability for the items demanded by Google while maintaining the current design, and in regards to each carrier’s demands.”
Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG), up to this point, has been behind the scenes in this patent-infringement battle, which has primarily focused on how Samsung’s smartphones and tablets look, feel and act very similarly to Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPads and iPhones, which run the proprietary iOS operating system. With Google also launching its own tablet computer, the Nexus 7, with an Android operating system, the partnership with Samsung for smartphone handsets will be vital in keeping Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) viable in the smartphone market.
In other activity during the trial, a couple of paid witnesses testified on behalf of Samsung stating that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) did not invent the “rubberbanding” feature in iPads and iPhones – where the screen seems to “bounce” when a user gets to the end of a file – and stated that Apple infringed on a couple Samsung patents that revolve around mobile technology standards.