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The latest courtroom battle between Apple and Samsung took an interesting turn this week as an attorney for Android maker Google finally took the stand to confirm the search giant is lending its biggest original equipment manufacturer a helping hand.
Re/code reported Tuesday that Samsung may not be entirely on the hook if the Korean manufacturer should lose its latest courtroom tussle with Apple, thanks to Google picking up at least some of the liability.
According to testimony from Google lawyer James Maccoun, the Android maker "agreed to provide partial or full indemnity" for Samsung and even take over defending four patents which Apple claims were effectively stolen. Two of those patents were tossed out prior to trial, while the remaining '414 and '959 patents cover background synchronization and universal search.
Samsung and Google declined to comment more specifically on exactly what legal tab the latter might pick up, but Apple is seeking as much as $2 billion in damages against the Korean smartphone giant for the latest infringement claims.
Curiously, some of the features being targeted by Apple were actually created by Google, but patent laws allow companies to go after the product that uses such infringing code — and as the report noted, Samsung financially benefits from the Android platform, while Google essentially gives it away.
Samsung also appears to have been caught in a bald-faced lie: After claiming in September 2012 the company was not "seeking indemnification from any party," Apple presented Google and Samsung emails dated between May and December, which clearly indicated the search giant was willing to help finance Samsung's legal defense.
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter
(Images courtesy of AndroidGuys.com and Gadgets.NDTV.com)