Google has done its best to stay out of Apple and Samsung's legal squabbles, but came to the aid of its Android partner in the second patent trial between the rivals, on Friday.
The company's VP of Android Engineering Hiroshi Lockheimer took the stand in California to defend copycat allegations from Apple, which claims Samsung stole its ideas.
The thrust of the argument is that Google used specific features - like universal search - on devices like the Galaxy Nexus before Apple patented them.
"We liked to have our own identity, we liked to have our own ideas," Lockheimer told the court. "We were very passionate about what we were doing, and it was important that we have our own ideas."
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'Doing our own thing'
"People tend to think of Google as a big company, but we were a small team," he added. "We were autonomous, and the company let us do our own thing."
Apple rested its case earlier on Friday. The company is seeking $2.91 billion (£1.73, AU$3.07) in damages from Samsung relating to five patents it claims the Korean firm infringed.
Samsung will continue its defence against the allegations on Monday. The case is follows a length battle in front of the same judge in 2012, which saw Apple awards a billion dollars.