Apple vs. Samsung: But What About Google?

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Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has begun yet another round against Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930) this time in Prague. This time around, Samsung is said to be saying that Apple should be suing Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) instead, according to Fortune.

Steve Jobs accused Google

Philip Elmer-DeWitt reminds us of comments made by former Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) CEO Steve Jobs to his biographer back when they filed a lawsuit against HTC Corp (TPE:2498) for patent infringement. He specifically accused Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) of ripping off the iPhone and said he would “destroy Android because it’s a stolen product.”

And yet, the broken record of patent litigation involving Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) doesn’t involve Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG). The company continues to lock horns with Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930) in courtrooms around the world. In this latest case in Prague, however, it sounds like Samsung’s attorneys are using this tactic rather than the others they have used in the past, with mixed results.

Why Apple pursues Samsung

He notes that there are a number of problems Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) would have to deal with if it sued Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) instead of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930). When Elmer-DeWitt first considered the question, he noted that Samsung had left a paper trail which indicated just how closely it had scrutinized Apple’s designs and then imitated them, including even the boxes of the handsets.

Of course there’s no way to know if Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) has a similar paper trail. In addition, the search giant could state that the damages it would owe to Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) should be zero because Android doesn’t bring any direct revenue to the company. Of course Google does see billions of dollars from advertising through its Android operating system, but that would be a rather difficult concept for a jury to grasp.

Besides, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) may find it more useful to target competing handset makers because if it wins, the case makes the other handset maker look bad. Such a tactic makes sense because a handset maker like Samsung competes directly with Apple. (not counting Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s Motorola division, which hardly takes a chunk of the market and hasn’t always been part of Google) The two have been bitter rivals for some time, so any damage each can do to the other’s reputation is probably seen as a positive for them.

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