Apple Thinks Google Now Is Guilty

Amid the smartphone patent wars, Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) has typically shied away from targeting Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL  ) directly, instead opting to drag rival Android OEMs to court. The most prominent case is none other than Samsung, for which Apple initially scored a $1 billion victory that's since been scaled back and remains up in the air until November.

Earlier this month, Apple set its sights on Google for the first time, albeit indirectly as a third party to its Samsung battle. Siding with Apple, courts ordered Google to hand over certain search terms used in Android's documentation. Google had argued that complying would be an "undue burden." U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul S. Grewal called out the irony of the search giant saying it would be too much trouble to produce search data.

Apple is now going after Google in another way: Google Now. Again, this is all taking place within the broader Samsung suit, according to FOSS Patents. Among other features, Apple is now arguing that Now infringes on two of the Mac maker's patents related to Siri and unified search.

The oddest part about the addition of Google Now to the ongoing patent infringement lawsuit is that Apple just cleared Google Now for takeoff within its own iOS App Store.

The virtual assistant feature, which many consider to be superior to Siri, was included as an update to Google's iOS search app, and as such was subject to the standard approval process that all apps face. It's not like Google just slipped this in without Apple knowing. Apple undoubtedly scrutinizes Google's submissions to a greater extent than other developers, plus it was all over the news that Google was preparing to bring Now to iOS. Google Now landed on iOS less than a month ago.

Adding Now to the Samsung suit underscores Apple's strategy with the patent battles. Apple is attempting to obtain preliminary injunctions against competing devices that infringe on its IP, while it has no problem allowing the exact same features run on its own devices. Competition aside, the presence of Google's vast array of popular services like Google Maps makes the iPhone better.

This all implies that an iPhone running Google Now would infringe on Apple's own patents, though I don't think Apple will be seeking iPhone injunctions any time soon.

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  • Report this Comment On May 23, 2013, at 2:18 AM, HiWho wrote:

    Apple will kill Google from the inside like a mold. think of the movie Skyfall.

    I think in a year google will be bleeding cash to the European Union over taxes ( Aapl has a way out), apple, Research inMotion and Nokia.

    Out of all this Facebook and lowly Yahoo will be the winners.

  • Report this Comment On May 23, 2013, at 2:58 AM, Whyrushortinusa wrote:

    I was upset when I seen a foreign company was making money off of someone else idea and felt that apple had the right idea to sue them. Then I see how apple avoids paying billions in taxes. They have no right to steal from our country and yet complain about others they say are stealing from them. I bought from apple because they were American yet seem they don't have a country... Atleast that's what they say. If their not an American product then never buying their product again. Say your American yet avoid paying billions so the government had to raise our taxes. Shame on you..........

  • Report this Comment On May 23, 2013, at 4:53 AM, st0815 wrote:

    I don't think Apple does any harm to it's case by letting Google offer their product through their app store. Quite to the contrary, as the number of downloads increase their potential claim to license fees would increase, too.

    A limiting factor might be that they are supposed to minimize damages, but in the worst case that would mean that they get no license fees from Google based on sales via itunes for the time they approve the app until the case was (potentially) won. In other words - in the worst case they wouldn't be any worse off than if they had not allowed Google Now in the store.

    If they wouldn't allow Google Now they would restrict their own users, making their platform less attractive. So the only downside is that Apple users might switch away from Siri and towards Google Now, which might be the lesser evil instead of having people switch to another platform altogether.

  • Report this Comment On May 23, 2013, at 5:07 AM, RottingApple wrote:

    I stopped believing in Apple items after Steve Jobs left. Apple just seemed so desperate to make money off of their dedicated consumers. Iphone 4s? Addition of Siri. Iphone 5? Let's just make the phone a little bit longer... What's next? Let's make a smaller Ipad!

    Now that they can't keep changing the size of their products and don't have any new ideas on how to improve them, they are looking to get money by suing Google and Samsung instead. They seem like such a joke to me.

    I still love my Ipod Touch 1st Gen, my one and only apple product, because they cost much more than their competitor's products. I can't keep up with them, and I won't because I don't believe their products are that valuable anymore.

  • Report this Comment On May 23, 2013, at 7:48 AM, rmm200 wrote:

    As the worst abuser of the American patent system, Apple should have all of their patents invalidated.

    That might encourage other companies to innovate instead of using the legal system to maintain a monopoly.

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