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Android Co-Founder Andy Rubin May Testify in Samsung-Apple Trial

by Jacob Kleinman | March 31, 2014March 31, 2014 3:30 pm PST

Andy Rubin Google’s senior vice president of mobile and digital

With Samsung and Apple headed back to court for another round of patent lawsuits, this year’s trial may prove even more exciting than their last legal face-off. According to The Wall Street Journal, Google is expected to play a much larger part in this trial, which is focused on software rather than hardware, and Android co-founder Andy Rubin is reportedly listed as a potential witness.

Rubin has a long history of developing mobile software, and should be able to defend Google’s Android OS while also offering insight into the history of several features Apple claims patents for. He even worked at Apple as a manufacturing engineer from 1989 to 1992 before joining Cupertino spin-off General Magic to develop software for early mobile devices. Rubin also worked at MSN TV and co-founded Danger Inc. to develop PDA-style cellphones before launching Android in 2003. Two years later the company was acquired by Google, where he still works today heading its mysterious robotics division.

Apple’s latest claims of patent infringement are still aimed directly at its South Korean rival, but out of the five key features Cupertino claims were stolen from iOS, Samsung says four of them came directly from Android and were in development by Google before Apple filed its own patents or announced the first iPhone. If Samsung can prove its case to the jury it will avoid the $2 billion payment Apple is demanding. If it loses, though, Google may need to drastically change its operating system.

Whether or not Rubin himself makes an appearance, WSJ reports multiple Google engineers are expected to testify during the trial. For the first time, Apple and Google will face-off directly in court over the issue of Android, and no matter the outcome we’re looking forward to learning about the creation of Android firsthand from the engineers who developed it.


Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...