In his statement to Reuters, Chief Executive of Sony Mobile, Kunimasa Suzuki stated that he doesn't see the recent patent issues pertaining to the Android software platform having much impact on their business, as yet of today. “We don't see much impact to our business as yet of today,” he said.
The statement comes in the wake of Cupertino-based Apple Inc.'s big win against South Korean giant Samsung Electronics. The jury had found many of Samsung's Android-based phones to be infringing on Apple patents. At the time, not only was Samsung asked to pay compensation to the tune of a staggering $1.05 billion to Apple, subsequent reports indicated that Apple had also filed an appeal to have as many as eight of Samsung's leading devices banned in the US.
Android patent woes not impacted our business much
Among other things, the Apple-Samsung lawsuit has been noticeably about designs. In a 38-page suit that Apple filed in the U.S. District Court of Northern California, it stated that instead of coming up with a totally unique concept for its smartphones and tablets, Samsung chose the convenient path of using Apple’s user interface, look, product design and packaging, among other things for its products. Proving its allegations further, Apple publicly showcased the similarities in the iPhone 3GS model, released in June 2009 and Galaxy S i9000 model, released in March 2010.
In fact, an interesting moment at the lawsuit proceedings came when Apple attorney, Harold McElhinny, flashed a Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc and a Nokia Lumia Windows Phone and said, “Not every smartphone needs to look like an iPhone.” With that on the cards, perhaps, Sony Mobile really doesn't have to worry about a patent battle with the victoria Apple, at least when it comes to product design.
Interestingly, after the jury pronounced its verdict, Google, which can be said to be implicitly involved as it is the Android OS that Samsung’s phones and tablets run on, made its opinion public. In its statement that Google issued, it seemed to be distancing stock Android from the court rulings. It stated, “The court of appeals will review both infringement and the validity of the patent claims. Most of these don't relate to the core Android operating system, and several are being re-examined by the US Patent Office.” It did look like Google wanted to adopt a more neutral stand in the controversy.
Google stated further that mobile companies were in a very competitive market and all players were “building upon ideas that have been around for decades.” The company added, “We work with our partners to give consumers innovative and affordable products, and we don't want anything to limit that.”
Meanwhile, Suzuki affirmed that he was confident of better smartphone sales in its fiscal year 2012-13 compared to last year's figure of 34 million.
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