Google Attorney’s Play Both SidesBy: Shawn Hess - January 31, 2012
HTC and Samsung Electronics are subject to a patent infringment suit filed by Pepper Hamilton on behalf of Digitude Innovations. HTC and Samsung are partner’s of Google’s, specifically for Android products. Google has been using Pepper Hamilton since 2008 to apply for patents, particularly ones that apply to Android technology.
Now Google is claiming that by suing Samsung and HTC the law firm has created a conflict of interest for itself and is being disloyal to Google and should be disqualified from representing the Digitude Innovations case in court.
Google explains in court documents:
“In short, Pepper Hamilton is accusing its own client of infringement.”
“Pepper Hamilton should not be allowed to continue alleging infringement against the products and interests of its current client.”
Google is seeking to resolve the matter but has had no success. They have filed formal paperwork with the courts asking that the case not be allowed to persist under current representation. Google also claims that the law firm attempted to “fire them” as clients over the matter.
Scott Daniels, a partner with Westerman Hattori Daniels in Washington comments on these type of legal conflicts within law firms:
“Conflicts are hard on law firms, you don’t want to anger your clients.”
Google was not informed by Pepper Hamilton of the conflict and maintain that detailed information they shared with the law firm undoubtedly creates a conflict of interest in the case.