FORTUNE -- Watching Apple's (AAPL) patent infringement trial from afar -- today, it's from Prague -- I can't tell if the jury got as clear an explanation of where Apple's so-called "quick link" software came from as the one Daniel Eran Dilger posted Sunday on AppleInsider (How Samsung & Google teamed up to steal Apple Data Detectors for Android).
But reading Dilger's deep dive into the history of the technology I'm reminded of what Steve Jobs told his biographer the day Apple sued HTC, the first of the Android manufactures to feel the litigious wrath of Jobs:
"Our lawsuit is saying, 'Google you f***ing ripped off the iPhone, wholesale ripped us off. Grand theft.
"I will spend my last dying breath... to right this wrong. I'm going to destroy Android, because it's a stolen product. I'm willing to go thermonuclear war on this. They are scared to death, because they know they are guilty."
Well, if Google (GOOG) is the company that copied Apple's technology -- and in the case of Apple's data detectors, it would seem they are -- why is Apple suing Samsung?
Samsung's lawyers raised this question in their opening statement two weeks ago, and it's an argument that could resonate for the jury.
I took a crack at it in August 2012, right after the first Apple v. Samsung trial ended in Apple's favor to the tune of $1 billion.
"In retrospect, [suing Samsung, not Google] was smart move. As Apple laid out its narrative for the jury in its closing arguments, the Samsung story was an easy one to tell. Not only had the Korean manufacturer imitated Apple's designs down to the boxes the devices came in, but it left a paper trail that showed the company scrutinizing every aspect of the iPhone touchscreen for ways Apple's design decisions could improve Samsung's products.
'The mountain of evidence presented during the trial,' Apple CEO Tim Cook told employees after the verdict, 'showed that Samsung's copying went far deeper than we knew.'
"Whether Google left a similar paper trail remains to be seen. Moreover, Google can claim, as it did when it was sued by Oracle, that Android doesn't produce any direct revenue for the company, so there can be zero damages. Android may generate billions of ad dollars, but that's a harder story to sell a jury.
'It's all about tactics,' says FOSS Patents' Florian Mueller. 'There's no reason Apple would have to be afraid of suing Google directly. It's just tactically more convenient to go against other device makers.'"
Mueller, by the way, has so thoroughly changed his tune on Apple's patent litigation strategy that on Sunday, after a brief exchange with Dilger over the AppleInsider piece, Mueller blocked Dilger's Twitter account.
Tempers, it seems, are running high.
The company is battling a patent lawsuit, and the courts just dealt a bad blow.
FORTUNE -- Investor demand is high for GrubHub Seamless (GRUB), which makes its market debut this morning. Last night the online take-out ordering company priced its IPO at $26 per share, a jump from its initial expected price range of $20 to $22 per share. The price values GrubHub at $1.9 billion.
There's precedent for this interest: MOREErin Griffith - Apr 4, 2014 5:00 AM ET
Jury selection for the second "patent trial of the century" starts Monday.
FORTUNE -- A multibillion dollar Apple (AAPL) patent infringement claim against Samsung -- its second in two years -- goes to trial Monday.
In the grand tradition of print journalism -- where your story had to hold up even as it was outpaced by events -- reporters planning to cover the proceedings filed their "walk-ups" over the weekend.
For a subject as arcane as U.S. patent law, a surprisingly wide range MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Mar 31, 2014 11:03 AM ET
"I don't merely disagree with Apple but am rather wondering whether it has lost its mind."
FORTUNE -- Apple (AAPL) for several years has had a loyal supporter in Florian Mueller.
Nobody followed the company's myriad patent disputes more closely. Or criticized more sharply the claims made against Apple by Samsung and Motorola/Google for their so-called standard-essential patents.
But this time, he writes in his FOSS Patents blog, Apple has gone too far.
Having read the transcript MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Mar 11, 2014 8:58 AM ET
The Korean manufacturing giant is taking "a hard-line stance against patent trolls."
FORTUNE -- Given its miserable track record in patent battles with Apple (AAPL), Samsung's legal team must have taken great solace in Dyson Ltd's decision to drop the patent infringement suit it filed against the company in September.
At issue was the steering mechanism in the "Motion Sync" vacuum cleaner that Samsung introduced at a Berlin consumer electronics show last MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Feb 17, 2014 8:28 AM ET
Claims Google rails against "patent trolls" while investing billions to play the same game.
FORTUNE -- The ironies in the complaint Google (GOOG) filed in a California federal court Monday were not lost of FOSS Patents' Florian Mueller.
Google was responding to a pair of patent infringement suits filed in October by Rockstar -- the consortium led by Apple (AAPL) that edged out the search giant ($4.5 billion to Google's $4.4 billion) in MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Dec 25, 2013 2:55 PM ET
Claims a Patent Office decision "calls into question the entire jury verdict in this trial."
FORTUNE -- On Tuesday, Samsung's lawyers interrupted Apple v. Samsung -- the patent retrial of the century -- to demand a mistrial.
Apple's (AAPL) chief counsel had played the race card, they claimed, when he compared what Samsung was doing to Apple in smartphones to what foreign manufacturers (i.e. Asians) had done to American-made televisions.
On Wednesday, as the jury MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Nov 21, 2013 10:57 AM ET
A hearing on the leak of confidential Apple documents is scheduled for Oct. 22.
FORTUNE -- In advance of last year's big patent infringement trial that resulted in a billion dollar judgement against Samsung -- not a penny of which has yet been paid -- Samsung's attorneys demanded that Apple (AAPL) turn over the contents of its patent licensing agreements with Nokia (NOK) and three other manufacturers, Ericsson, Sharp, and Philips.
Apple MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Oct 3, 2013 8:49 AM ET
The U.S. International Trade Commission gets slapped down twice in one week.
FORTUNE -- In late 1940s, an inventor named William Graham solved the age-old problem of how to protect a plow cutting through rocky soil by adding shock absorbers to the plow's shanks. He applied for a patent, and it was granted in 1950. When John Deere (DE) incorporated the technology into its plows, Graham sued.
The case went all the MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Aug 8, 2013 9:28 AM ET
There are parallels between today's trolls and the so-called sharks of the 19th century.
FORTUNE -- Complaints about patent trolls have reached such a level that the White House is now pushing for reform. Some people might believe the problem to be relatively new. And it is, in a way. But there were patent trolls in the 19th century, and they behaved in much the same way as modern ones, causing MOREDan Mitchell, contributor - Jun 7, 2013 7:35 AM ET
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