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Google Enters San Jose Smartphone Fight

Publication Date: 
May 07, 2013
The Recorder
Vanessa Blum

Professor Mark Lemley spoke with The Recorder's Vanessa Blum about the Apple v. Samsung patent case and shared his opinion that the Federal Circuit's ruling on injunctive relief "could make sales bans rare in 'complex, multicomponent industries like smartphones.

'"The cavalry has arrived in the Apple-Samsung patent fight.

On Monday a coalition of technology companies led by Android developer Google Inc. publicly stepped up to back Samsung Electronics Co. in its appellate battle with Apple Inc. over injunctions.

In an amici curiae brief comparing Apple's bid for a sales ban to "highway robbery," the tech firms are urging the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit to uphold a lower court decision denying permanent injunctions against Samsung phones and tablets, which use Google's Android software.


But with the law still evolving, the group also points to authorities of a less precedential sort, including articles by Mark Lemley, director of Stanford Law School's Program in Law, Science and Technology, and Carl Shapiro, a UC-Berkeley economics professor. Lemley, a partner at the San Francisco patent boutique Durie Tangri, has represented Google in unrelated litigation. Samsung also referenced several news articles and editorials in its brief, while Apple cited one law review article.


It's clear which side of the controversy Lemley is on. In an email, Lemley said the Federal Circuit's ruling on injunctive relief could make sales bans rare in "complex, multicomponent industries like smartphones."

"As I have suggested in my academic work, that is as it should be," he added. "We don't want the tail of a minor patent to wag the dog, whether that patent is owned by a troll or a competitor."