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Apple takes fight to Google, wants Android source code in Samsung lawsuit

post #1 of 29
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The week has seen new turns in Apple's ongoing patent-based struggle against Google's Android operating system, as the iPhone maker attempted to pull the search giant deeper into the proceedings in one case while trying to keep Google out of the mix in another.

apple v samsung


Apple on Wednesday asked U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul. S. Grewal to force Google to hand over information on the code powering Android, as reported by Bloomberg. Apple says that the information is necessary, given that Samsung ? the defendant in the case ? makes devices that run Google's operating system. According to Apple, Google has been less than forthcoming in turning over court-ordered information on Android.

"It's a question of transparency," said Apple attorney Mark Lyon. "We have concerns that they're not doing a full search."

At issue is not only the court-ordered Android code, but also the means by which Google is going about searching for the code. Apple contends that Google should turn over a wider swath of code in order to ensure that any possibly infringing data is accessible in the trial. Google, though, holds Apple is overstepping its bounds in asking for such a wide berth.

Google lawyer Matthew Warren says that Apple made a "strategic decision" to leave Google out of its complaint against Samsung. Turning over the search terms Google is using to go through its code, Warren says, could lead to "future discovery that we don't think they're entitled to," giving Apple "ideas about how to proceed that they wouldn't have had."

The case in question is Apple's second patent suit against Samsung in the United States. The other case, the one in which Apple won a $1.05 billion verdict, also saw developments recently.

Tuesday saw Apple file a document in opposition (via CNN Money) to Google and other companies move to file an amicus brief in support of Samsung. Google, HTC, Rackspace Hosting, Red Hat, and SAP America would sign the brief, but Apple protests that Google's inclusion would be improper for the court to accept.

Amicus curiae briefs, Apple contends, are traditionally filed by impartial friends of the court. Google's role as the developer of the Android operating system that powers Samsung's devices, Apple says, gives it "a direct interest in the outcome of this appeal."

In much of Apple's legal struggle against Android handset manufacturers, Google has played a peripheral role. Apple has neglected to name Google as a defendant, preferring instead to seek damages from individual device makers. Despite the billion dollar verdict against Samsung, Apple has yet to see any money from the decision and, like most other smartphone manufacturers, has little to show for its years-long patent struggles.
post #2 of 29
Pass the popcorn. Isn't Android open? Can't they just download the code? /s
post #3 of 29

Maybe apple wants the code to the core services.

post #4 of 29
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Originally Posted by jungmark View Post

Pass the popcorn. Isn't Android open? Can't they just download the code? /s
Exactly. That's because only portions of Android are open, not everything. Googles keeps a firm grip on Android.

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post #5 of 29
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Originally Posted by EricTheHalfBee View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post

Pass the popcorn. Isn't Android open? Can't they just download the code? /s
Exactly. That's because only portions of Android are open, not everything. Googles keeps a firm grip on Android.

Android itself is open source. There are some closed aspects as you mention, primarily the hardware drivers and of course Google Play, which is a closed proprietary application and service. Apple could easily download the source code for Android (4.1 at this point in time) but in order for it to be admitted into evidence I believe it needs to be handed over to the court by Google themselves.

 

Edit: typo


Edited by mstone - 5/8/13 at 9:24am

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post #6 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Apple could easily download the source code for Android but in order for it to be admitted into evidence I believe it needs to be handed over to the court by Google themselves.

I believe that is correct.

A solution to this would be to order them to hand it over to the court, and then a designated 3rd party will analyze the code and determine what from the Samsung phones is unique to Samsung and what is from Android. And then anything that isn't pertinent to the discussion will be excised. And all parties get the details about what was found so they can question, defend etc.

Seems fair that if Samsung is trying to use 'that's just part of Android' as a defense then Apple should get to see the data. As it sounds like Samsung is.

I have a feeling that Apple has downloaded the code and thus they know there are bits they haven't been given that apply. So this request could be part of a strategy. Once they have given Google and Samsung a change to properly pony up there might be a way in court where they can use the omissions against the companies.
post #7 of 29
Interesting collection of lawsuits. Google is saying Apple shouldn't be able to gain access to their code because they chose not to include Google in the original suit while the second lawsuit Google is filing an amicus brief in support of Samsung against Apple.

Either you're in or you're out, there's no middle ground.
post #8 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by rob53 View Post

Interesting collection of lawsuits. Google is saying Apple shouldn't be able to gain access to their code because they chose not to include Google in the original suit while the second lawsuit Google is filing an amicus brief in support of Samsung against Apple.

Either you're in or you're out, there's no middle ground.

Exactly. Apple does not want to include Google in the lawsuit but wants them to produce documents as tho they are included. Hard to have it both ways. Apple should decide if they're in or out.

 

As far as filing an Amicus brief supporting Samsung, that not really what Google is doing. The brief would be arguing  for Samsung's position on the appropriateness of injunctions when the offending IP is a small part of the finished product, and filed with a few other companies signatures on the brief.It's not from Google alone. It could just as easily be in support of Rackspace's position if they were the ones named in the suit. 

 

... and of course Apple has told the court it's not appropriate for Google to be able to submit a brief. Again it gives the appearance of wanting it both ways, in if it serves Apple in one case and out if it does not in the other. Nothing wrong with that as every company wants what's in their best interests.


Edited by Gatorguy - 5/8/13 at 9:41am
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post #9 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Exactly. Apple does not want to include Google in the lawsuit but wants them to produce documents as tho they are included. Hard to have it both ways. Apple should decide if they're in or out.

That's opposite of what I'm saying. Yes, Apple is saying Google shouldn't be allowed to be part of the amicus brief if Samsung isn't willing to turn over their code. If Samsung agrees to turn over their code, then Apple should remove their objection to the amicus brief filing except for the fact Google is supplying the OS for Samsung so they aren't impartial.

post #10 of 29
You've got to be Grewal to be kind. That's what Apple will be hoping.
post #11 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Exactly. Apple does not want to include Google in the lawsuit but wants them to produce documents as tho they are included. Hard to have it both ways. Apple should decide if they're in or out.

 

Why?  The offending products are ultimately Samsung's, so that's why the case was brought against them.  However, to prove the offence, the underlying source code used by Samsung's products (licensed from Google) is needed.  Hence why Google needs to provide that to the court and not Samsung.  It's really not that complicated.

 

If Google started selling Android as an end product (rather than licensing it to others for free), then it would make sense for Apple to file a case against them.  However, as it stands now, the end products are those of the Android licensees.  Though I am surprised that they haven't filed a case yet against the Nexus line of phones and tablets if they're finding that the patent offences are indeed mostly in the Android codebase (and not Samsung's custom UI).


Edited by auxio - 5/8/13 at 9:56am
 
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post #12 of 29
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Originally Posted by auxio View Post

 

Why?  The offending products are ultimately Samsung's, so that's why the case was brought against them.  However, to prove the offence, the underlying source code used by Samsung's products (licensed from Google) is needed.  Hence why Google needs to provide that to the court and not Samsung.  It's really not that complicated.

Google feels they already complied, and documents have already been submitted per Apple's earlier requests. Apple now says that it's not enough and they want more, but the argument is that Apple is treating the new document requests as tho Google is a defendant and required to do so.

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post #13 of 29
So it sounds as though Apple knows exactly what's in the source code, feels that it is relevant and wants it admitted as evidence.
post #14 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Google feels they already complied, and documents have already been submitted per Apple's earlier requests. Apple now says that it's not enough and they want more, but the argument is that Apple is treating the new document requests as tho Google is a defendant and required to do so.

 

Obviously I'm no expert in law and how to frame requests for relevant information.  However, as someone with a deep interest and passion for technology, I strongly feel that if there are patent violations to be found in the Android source code, then they should be brought to light.  If the information being requested is proprietary, then it should be covered by appropriate confidentiality/non-usage agreements before it's made part of the case.

 

If no such patent violations exist, then it should be a no-brainer for Google to provide whatever is needed in order to clear their name and help prevent future legal action against their licensees.

 
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post #15 of 29
Scroogled.

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post #16 of 29
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Originally Posted by auxio View Post

 

Obviously I'm no expert in law and how to frame requests for relevant information.  However, as someone with a deep interest and passion for technology, I strongly feel that if there are patent violations to be found in the Android source code, then they should be brought to light.  If the information being requested is proprietary, then it should be covered by appropriate confidentiality/non-usage agreements before it's made part of the case.

 

If no such patent violations exist, then it should be a no-brainer for Google to provide whatever is needed in order to clear their name and help prevent future legal action against their licensees.

Why should Google be required to submit any documentation if they aren't being sued? If Apple feels it wants to go after Android itself then sue Google and let the discovery process do what it's intended to do. You wouldn't support Lodsys demanding iOS source-code to prove developers are using their IP in iOS apps would you? Heck I remember several posters here saying it wasn't fair for Samsung to demand iOS source-code in their Australia IP infringement lawsuit against Apple and Apple really was the defendant.

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post #17 of 29

Android is completely open source. Anyone can download it here. http://source.android.com From this you can make a fully functioning device.  Want the samsung specific builds they are availible here http://opensource.samsung.com/  Everything you need to build a fully functional samsung build.  

 

This is purely a ploy to get Google on the record without directly confronting them.

 

To avoid this rabbit hole.  Apps are not the OS. Google play, gmail, chrome are not android, they are apps.  They can be updated without a system update, you can uninstall all of them and still have a functioning device.  Apps are not Android

post #18 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

in order for it to be admitted into evidence I believe it needs to be handed over to the court by Google themselves.

 

That not how evidence collection works.  You need to document and be able to explain to the court where and how it was obtained.  It doesn't need to be handed over by a specific person.  Publicly available information can be obtained and filed as such

post #19 of 29

I thought Android was "open"?

 

Good answers above though.

post #20 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post

Pass the popcorn. Isn't Android open? Can't they just download the code? /s


I don't think Apple knows what Open Source means so perhaps it is an education thing.

post #21 of 29
Originally Posted by Bilbo63 View Post
So it sounds as though Apple knows exactly what's in the source code…

 

They should; they wrote it!

 

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post #22 of 29
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Originally Posted by zippy2shoes View Post


I don't think Apple knows what Open Source means so perhaps it is an education thing.

Surely you're being sarcastic. If not, try WebKit amongst other items.
post #23 of 29
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Originally Posted by jungmark View Post

Surely you're being sarcastic. If not, try WebKit amongst other items.

I'd post this link to him but he's proven to be less than open to anything other than his preconceived falsehoods.

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post #24 of 29
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Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Google feels they already complied, and documents have already been submitted per Apple's earlier requests. Apple now says that it's not enough and they want more, but the argument is that Apple is treating the new document requests as tho Google is a defendant and required to do so.

 

Why?

 

Because Samsung uses GOOGLE SEARCH to find relevant documents to hand over.

 

As Google are in control of Android they can change the names of things so they won't be found.

 

Quit being disingenuous.

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post #25 of 29
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Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Why should Google be required to submit any documentation if they aren't being sued? If Apple feels it wants to go after Android itself then sue Google and let the discovery process do what it's intended to do. You wouldn't support Lodsys demanding iOS source-code to prove developers are using their IP in iOS apps would you? Heck I remember several posters here saying it wasn't fair for Samsung to demand iOS source-code in their Australia IP infringement lawsuit against Apple and Apple really was the defendant.

 

Why?

 

Because they are the SEARCH company used to FIND the things that the court demands.

 

Conflict of interest much.

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post #26 of 29
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Originally Posted by skyJedi View Post

You need to document and be able to explain to the court where and how it was obtained.

 

How it is obtained is via a Google search, hence the requirement of their involvement.

 

E.g. "slide to unlock" becomes "swipe to unlock" and disappears from a search for slide.

 

Google is too closely involved.

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post #27 of 29
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Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

I'll try to reply to this, even though its just a bunch of words smashed together with little to no understanding of the actual concept involved.

 

Quote:
How it is obtained is via a Google search, hence the requirement of their involvement.

source.android.com isn't google search, its a source code repository.  All of Android is contained within, no need to even ask to download it.

 

Quote:

E.g. "slide to unlock" becomes "swipe to unlock" and disappears from a search for slide.

.....no idea what this has to do with anything.

 

Quote:
Google is too closely involved.

Maybe they should sue google then, not a manufacturer

post #28 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

 

Why?

 

Because they are the SEARCH company used to FIND the things that the court demands.

 

Conflict of interest much.

You clearly don't understand what's going on with the court case nor what Google is supposed to produce. Perhaps do a bit of reading and research as many of us have done before commenting, otherwise you confuse other readers with misinformation. It wasn't a web search Hill60.

 

In a nutshell Apple legal arguments convinced Judge Grewal that some information important to the Samsung case would need to come from Google themselves and Google was ordered to produce those pertinent docs. Apple says the number of documents produced was fewer than they had expected and questions the search terms and personnel used to satisfy the inquiry. Judge Grewal agreed that Apple was within it's rights to be more intimately informed about Google's methods and search terms used to help ensure the order was met. But in addition Apple has in the meantime requested another batch of documents which the court has yet to rule on.

 

Apple's obvious intent is to get as much information about Android as the court can be convinced to allow. It's partially a fishing expedition IMO. What Apple does not want to do is directly involve Google, a fact made clear in Apple's statement to the court on why Google should not be allowed to file an Amicus brief.

 

There's absolutely no indication that Apple wants a direct confrontation with them, and every indication they wish to avoid one. If Apple truly believes that Android is "stolen technology" they've had several years to take it to a court of law and put a stop to it. Heck if they had done so 5 years ago they could have potentially stopped the whole Android story before it ever gained traction. The fact they did not and have not should tell you something.


Edited by Gatorguy - 5/10/13 at 8:02am
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post #29 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

How it is obtained is via a Google search, hence the requirement of their involvement.

E.g. "slide to unlock" becomes "swipe to unlock" and disappears from a search for slide.

Google is too closely involved.

Could also be found through a Bing search.
Edited by dasanman69 - 5/10/13 at 8:34am
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