Verizon comes to Samsung's defense in Apple patent lawsuit

By:Josh Ong


U.S. carrier Verizon Wireless has taken sides in the legal dispute between Apple and Samsung with a legal brief opposing a preliminary injunction against the South Korean company's smartphones and tablets.

The nation's largest wireless operator has submitted a request to the United States District Court for the Northern District of California to file an amicus curiae, or "friend of the court," brief in support of Samsung, Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents reports. The brief would allow Verizon to intervene as a third party in the case.

Apple's request for a preliminary injunction in the U.S. against the Infuse 4G, Galaxy S 4G, Droid Charge and Galaxy Tab 10.1 was filed in July and is scheduled to be addressed in a hearing on Oct. 13.

The carrier argues that such an injunction "would hinder Verizon Wireless in developing and deploying its next generation high-speed LTE [fourth-generation] network, the job growth dependant on that network, and will undercut key public policy goals, including expansion of American's [sic] access to broadband networks and faster communication with emergency personnel."

Verizon was an early partner with handset makers making use of Google's Android mobile operating system, including Samsung. The carrier has faced off against rival AT&T, which held an exclusive lock on Apple's iPhone in the U.S. for three and a half years.

The company's reliance on Android has been reduced some since Apple released the CDMA iPhone 4 on Verizon in February. As of August, Verizon's Android market share in the U.S. has dropped from 51.4 percent to 41.1 percent since the release of the iPhone on its network.