Google is Samsung's stealth partner in anti-Apple litigation tips insider

Google has been giving stealth support to Samsung in its ongoing patent battle against Apple, though the Android maker apparently refuses to be more vocal in the confrontation. Although a Samsung win would be to the benefit of Google and other Android OEMs, the search giant has purposely taken a low-key role according to CNET's sources, giving backroom strategy support, providing extra research and prior evidence, and petitioning for easier treatment.

That may not be the only advantage. Legal publication The Am Law Daily highlighted connections back in March 2011 between lawyers Quinn Emanuel and Google's Android OEMs, the litigators having already represented HTC and Motorola in previous cases. "While Verhoeven and Google won't comment specifically," the publication wrote, "lawyers familiar with the cases speculate that Google is providing Verhoeven's services under an indemnity agreement reached with its Android partners."

That could imply that Google is footing at least part of the tab for Samsung's legal representation, though Google has declined to comment on the suggestions. However, insiders say Google isn't especially concerned about the outcome of the current Apple vs. Samsung trial specifically, as their physical design focus means they're of little consequence to Android as a whole.

Instead, its involvement is likely to become significantly more pronounced when the Galaxy Nexus comes back under the microscope. Samsung isn't the only firm to have been the quiet recipient of Google's help, with the company supposedly petitioning the ITC to support HTC in a complaint filed by Nokia.

Apple is currently using Samsung's own design evidence against it, managing to get a 132-page side-by-side comparison between the Galaxy S and the iPhone accepted into the trial. The report highlights in specific detail how Samsung identified tiny details in iOS and contrasted them with shortcomings in the TouchWiz Android skin.