Schmidt: Startups Are The Loser In The Apple vs Google Patent War


In a very insightful interview with The Wall Journal, Google’s Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt gave his thoughts Apple, patent wars, Siri and Microsoft among other things.

When quizzed about Google’s ongoing patent war with Apple, Schimdth said he has been left baffled by Apple’s intentions. In particular Apple’s policy of not suing Google directly but rather target Android vendors.

From the Interview:

[quote] WSJ: How has Google’s relationship with Apple changed in the past year?

Mr. Schmidt: It’s always been on and off. Obviously, we would have preferred them to use our maps. They threw YouTube off the home screen [of iPhones and iPads]. I’m not quite sure why they did that.

The press would like to write the sort of teenage model of competition, which is, ‘I have a gun, you have a gun, who shoots first?’

The adult way to run a business is to run it more like a country. They have disputes, yet they’ve actually been able to have huge trade with each other. They’re not sending bombs at each other.

I think both Tim [Cook, Apple’s CEO] and Larry [Page, Google’s CEO], the sort of successors to Steve [Jobs] and me if you will, have an understanding of this state model. When they and their teams meet, they have just a long list of things to talk about.

WSJ: Are Apple and Google discussing a patent-related settlement?

Mr. Schmidt: Apple and Google are well aware of the legal strategies of each other. Part of the conversations that are going on all the time is to talk about them.

It’s extremely curious that Apple has chosen to sue Google’s partners and not Google itself.

WSJ: What’s the endgame of all of this patent litigation?

Mr. Schmidt: It’ll continue for a while. Google is doing fine. Apple is doing fine. Let me tell you the loser here.

There’s a young [Android co-founder] Andy Rubin trying to form a new version of Danger [the smartphone company Mr. Rubin co-founded before Android]. How is he or she going to be able to get the patent coverage necessary to offer version one of their product? That’s the real consequence of this.[/quote]

Eric Schmidt

It appears that Mr. Schimdth last comment is advocating that companies should not be rewarded for their inventions. According to his reasoning, its ok for Mr. Rubin to steal others Intellectual Properties and sell it to the highest bidder without any penalty.

I think this post by Fosspatent clarify Apple’s perspective on their current patent litigations against Android.

According to the post:

[quote]  Apple’s statements on its own “general policy”, in the order in which they appear in the pleading:

  • “Apple, which has a general policy against licensing its patents, presented evidence that Motorola was cutting into Apple’s market share and diverting goodwill.”
  • “Apple has a general policy of not licensing its inventions to anyone else.”
  • “Apple presented evidence that it has a general policy of not licensing these patents.”
  • “And unlike Motorola, which pre-committed to license its patents, Apple made no such commitment as to the patents at issue here and presented ample evidence that it has a general policy against licensing its valuable technology to Motorola or anyone else.”
  • “First, Apple has a general policy against licensing its inventions, particularly to competitors. Second, Motorola’s unlicensed copying of the inventions will continue to erode Apple’s market share and consumer loyalty.”
  • “Apple seeks an injunction to stop infringement by an ardent competitor. Apple had a general policy against licensing its central technology. It had proof that it is losing market share and goodwill because of the ongoing infringement. None of its asserted patents are standard-essential.”

Apple’s brief emphasizes the objective of having distinctive products as a reason for Apple to generally withhold licenses:

  • “Its business model famously depends on distinctive products that stand apart from the masses.”
  • “Apple has a policy against licensing competitors to practice the three patents. Apple is innovative to the core. Its business model is all about distinguishing its products from the competition’s. […] This business model of distinctive innovation does not work if competitors are free to make their products identical. That is why Apple has a policy against licensing [redacted].”
  • “In any event, Apple’s success is based on its patented inventions. Nothing will undermine its success like a ruling that competitors are free to copy its innovations as long as they are willing to pay a royalty.”[/quote]

Sources: The Wall JournalFosspatent

Posted by | Posted at December 5, 2012 17:49 | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
Storm is a technology enthusiast, who resides in the UK. He enjoys reading and writing about technology.

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