For the first time, Google has opened its mouth against the patent trolling by Apple (and by proxy, Microsoft) against Android manufacturers. By way of Eric Schmidt, Google’s chairman, the company took stand against the legal actions, and stated they aren’t too worried. If need be, Google will ensure HTC doesn’t lose the patent case against Apple.
Schmidt spoke at Google’s Mobile Revolution conference in Tokyo as a keynote speaker, Among addressing several other issues, he also responded to questions about the legal actions undertaken by companies like Apple and Microsoft. Schmidt stated that the patent lawsuits, or “legal fun” as he calls it, are the result of Apple and Microsoft being unable to compete on merit.
“We have seen an explosion of Android devices entering the market and, because of our successes, competitors are responding with lawsuits as they cannot respond through innovations,” Schmidt responded to questions, “I’m not too worried about this.”
Furthermore, when asked if Google would pay HTC’s legal bill should the Taiwanese phone maker lose the court case, he noted that “[Google] will make sure they don’t lose, then”. He pledged to support HTC through all this, but how, exactly, he didn’t say.
This is a relatively harsh response – the part about not being able to compete on merit – which is unusual since Schmidt and Google continued praising Apple as if the relationship hadn’t soured up until now. My position on this matter is clear – this is clearly not about copying or stealing ideas, but all about Android posing a major threat to Apple (and Microsoft). If it truly was about stealing and copying ideas – where are the court cases about the PlayBook or other similarly not-so-successful devices?
I don’t know what Schmidt and Google are cooking up behind the scenes, but I hope any counterattack they’re planning will be swift and decisive. Apple’s patent trolling and Microsoft’s protection money schemes must be stopped, because they pose a major threat to innovation and competition – quite possibly the biggest threat the technology industry has ever faced. The paralysing effect of this patent trolling could be enormous.