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Google’s Stake In $2 Billion Apple-Samsung Trial Revealed

Publication Date: 
April 23, 2014
The Washington Post with Bloomberg
Joel Rosenblatt

Professor Mark Lemley weighs in on the role of Google in the ongoing patent litigation between Apple and Samsung for The Washington Post. 

Google Inc.’s stake in the outcome of a $2 billion trial over smartphones using its Android operating system was revealed by testimony that the company indemnified Samsung Electronics Co. against some of Apple Inc.’s patent claims.

The videotaped testimony of a Google patent lawyer describing terms of the search engine company’s agreement with Samsung was played for jurors yesterday immediately after Apple’s lawyer read aloud a statement from Samsung saying it wasn’t seeking indemnification from any third party.


The disparity in the companies’ demands “reflects a strategic decision by Samsung to portray Apple as greedy, given the remarkably high per-phone price Apple is seeking,” Mark Lemley, a Stanford Law School professor specializing in intellectual property, said in an e-mail.

He said the difference in damages requests also helps explain why the the companies didn’t settle out of court with cross-licensing agreements.

“Apple clearly thinks -- rightly or wrongly -- that their patents are worth much more than Samsung does,” he said.