Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) co-founder Steve Jobs may be away from us, but Apple still. Does not. Like Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG). OK, so maybe the rhetoric from the two sides has dissipated somewhat since Jobs passed and there have been indications of some level of respect for each other, it is pretty evident that, at least behind the scenes in courtrooms, Apple and Google are still engaging in a “thermonuclear war” because Jobs was convinced that Google was stealing from Apple and copying some attributes for its Android operating system that would make it similar to iOS.
While Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has not specifically battled Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) in court – it has been taking on proxies like handset maker Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. – it has seemed that each salvo that is fired in this battle is drawing the two adversarial tech giants closer and closer to an epic legal-battle over patents that are widely used in smartphones.
And while the U.S. courts have asked nicely for the most recent Apple-Samsung litigation to be narrowed down so as to make the trial more efficient, Apple has not only expanded the original infringement suit, but now has reportedly filed a new motion that may finally target Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) directly for infringing on Apple patents.
In the latest developments from Patent Court Central (why doesn’t this place really exist?), Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has decided to expand its list of alleged infringing devices to include the newly released Samsung Galaxy S4 to the already reasonably long list of Galaxy devices that were part of the original lawsuit.
That lawsuit resulted in an initial jury award of $1.05 billion which was downsized by the judge to about $700 million and is under appeal. In this new development, Apple is filing a motion claiming that the Galaxy S4, all by itself, is infringing five Apple patents and is further claiming that the device’s Google Now voice-assistance feature violates a pair of Siri patents.
As part of the motion, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) lawyers contended that Samsung devices were initially infringing on patents with its “Quick Search Box,” but that had been removed from the devices and has since been replaced by Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) Now voice functionality, which Apple claims acts in a very similar way to Siri and to the old Quick Search Box. In exchange for adding the Galaxy S4 to the list of infringing devices, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has agreed to remove one of the current devices on the list, which would still stand at 22 when the trial begins next spring.
What are your thoughts about this legal wrangling over patents and intellectual property? Give us your feedback in the comments section below.