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Google, HTC back Samsung in legal battle with Apple

Galaxy Nexus (AFP-Yonhap News)
Galaxy Nexus (AFP-Yonhap News)

Google, HTC, Red Hat and Rackspace reportedly filed friends of the court briefs in support of Samsung Electronics on Monday urging the U.S. Federal court of Appeals to rule against Apple’s request for a sales ban on Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus smartphone and Galaxy Tab.

The support from the Google-led group comes amid an ongoing mobile device patent infringement battle between Samsung and Apple.

The briefs stated that companies shouldn’t be restricted because of what they see as a trivial feature that infringes on a patent, according to German blog FOSS Patents. The briefs do not give any of the companies an official role in the case, although the judge can take the filings under advisement.

Google’s friends of the court, or amici curiae, brief is not a big surprise since the devices listed in Apple’s permanent injunction request all run the company’s Android operating system. HTC’s brief is likely a preemptive move since it could face an injunction at some point over violating part of the licensing agreement it has with Apple, according to FOSS Patents.

Red Hat and Rackspace have been outspoken opponents of “patent trolls,” although Apple does not strictly fall into that category since the company does not simply hold patents and use litigation as a revenue maker, said the Mac Observer, an IT news provider. SAP recently lost its bid to get an injunction overturned in the same court.

In March, Nokia filed an amici curiae supporting Apple’s position over concerns that companies could be forced to license all of their patents to competitors. (From news reports)

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