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Google Executive Testifies On Behalf Of Samsung In Apple Patent Trial

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On the sixth day of the patent trial between Samsung and Apple, the Korean smartphone manufacturer opened its defense statements against Apple but turning to Google for help.

The Wall Street Journal reports Hiroshi Lockheimer, Google’s Vice President of Android Engineering, said that Google was working on many of the features that Apple accused Samsung of copying before the iPhone was introduced by Steve Jobs at Macworld in 2007. He said:

“We liked to have our own identity; we liked to have our own ideas. We were very passionate about what we were doing, and it was important that we have our own ideas.”

Lockheimer was the first witness Samsung called in its defense against Apple. The company accused Samsung of copying hardware and software aspects of its iPhones and iPads, but Samsung has argued that Google designed many of these features before Apple.

On Friday, Apple rested its case against Samsung after an expert detailed why the company deserves the $2.2 billion in damages. Samsung may call as many as 17 witnesses by the end of Monday, but Judge Lucy Koh said the company must decrease the that number.

This jury will determine whether Samsung infringed on software patents held by Apple, which is seeking damages of $2.2 billion. Samsung says that four of the five patents at issue in the case cover features that Google already had in the works.

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On Friday, Lockheimer said that he joined Google in April 2006 to work on the Android team, and at the time there were only about 20 to 30 people on the team. Currently, there are about 600 to 700 people working on Android. He said people generally think about Google as a big company, but he said, “We [Google] are a small team.”

“People tend to think of Google as a big company, but we were a small team. We were autonomous, and the company let us do our own thing.”

Earlier in the trial, documents revealed emails between Apple and Google, where Apple’s late CEO declared a “holy war” against Google. The full email from Steve Jobs is available here.

After multiple court appearances and long deliberations it is still unclear as to who will win the patent trial. Over the next couple of days expect to see high-profile executives testify for Samsung in their defense against Apple.

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