Google promised to protect Samsung from certain Apple patent claims

Google two years ago agreed to cover some of Samsung’s potential legal costs as protection against Apple’s latest multibillion-dollar patent lawsuit, a rare glimpse into how closely the two companies aligned themselves in the smartphone wars, a federal court jury learned Tuesday. Apple disclosed emails and letters showing that Google executives agreed to pay some of Samsung’s legal costs if it loses its patent fight against Apple.

Even more startling than the news from today’s trial that Google offered to indemnify Samsung for Android’s infringement of Apple’s iPhones patents is the fact that Samsung falsely stated in court filings that that it had not been “seeking indemnification from any third party.” During today’s patent trial, Apple’s attorney Harold McElhinny drew attention to Samsung’s interrogatory response from September, 24 2012, where the company stated, “Samsung is not currently seeking indemnification from any third party.” That set up McElhinny to next outline a video deposition with Google counsel James Maccoun, who in August 2013 outlined that Google and Samsung had actually formed an agreement where Google promised to defend Samsung from certain patent claims Apple was asserting. 

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