19
Jul
Schmidt

In a recent patent suit between HTC and Apple, the US International Trade Commission found the Taiwanese manufacturer liable on two counts of patent infringement in its Android-based devices (see our earlier post for a detailed analysis of the case and its effects).

Although this suit only involves Apple and HTC, its legal ramifications could affect Android as a whole - since the alleged infringements are core parts of the Android OS developed by Google.

Giving his views at Google's Mobile Revolution conference in Tokyo, Google's mouthpiece and executive Chairman Eric Schmidt has hit back with a stinging criticism of Apple's lawsuits. Schmidt points out that Apple are jealous of Android's rapid growth and the lawsuit is simply an attempt to slow it down. Over 550,000 Android devices are being activated daily, an increase from 400,000 in May, according to Schmidt

Perth Now heard the following remarks from Schmidt:

"The big news in the past year has been the explosion of Google Android handsets and this means our competitors are responding," he said.

"Because they are not responding with innovation, they're responding with lawsuits... We have not done anything wrong and these lawsuits are just inspired by our success."

Furthermore, according to CNET he added that:

"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," he said. "I'm not too worried about this."

When asked about potentially providing financial support should HTC lose, Schmidt said: "We will make sure they don't lose, then."

Schmidt stressed that Google would be supporting HTC's fight against Apple and was confident that HTC would prevail. However, Schmidt did not clarify as to whether Google's "support" would be material, or simply moral.

Although Android is free to license, hardware manufacturers may be less amenable towards using it to power their devices without assurances from Google as they (like HTC) are becoming vulnerable to legal challenges from the likes of Microsoft and Apple. Schmidt's vocal support for HTC should help re-assure some of those manufacturers.

Sources: PerthNow and CNET

Abhiroop Basu
Abhiroop Basu is an opinionated tech and digital media blogger. As a doe-eyed twenty-something he started his first blog TechComet to comment on anything tech-related that caught his omniscient eye. Since then he has blogged for Android Police, Make Tech Easier, and This Green Machine. In the real world, Abhiroop Basu is a resident of Singapore and the Editor of The Digit, a subsidiary of The Potato Productions Group.

  • http://yash1229.wordpress.com Yash

    I'm so with Mr. Eric Schmidt.
    All Apple is doing now-a-days is sue other companies just coz they can't cope up.

    • B066Y

      I agree that Apple should be innovating, but if a company is violating one of their patents then they have every right to sue. In my opinion it would be bad business not to sue and demand compensation and protections for one's patents. The same demand for innovation could just as easily be leveled at HTC and others that are found violating another's patents.

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/abhiroop-basu Abhiroop Basu

        I agree with you. Apple have every right to sue for their patents. In fact if they don't they may even lose their patents. However, in this case (as pointed out in the earlier post) a licensing arrangement would probably be the best solution.

        • B066Y

          For all we know HTC declined an opportunity to license thinking they had a strong enough case to win.

        • cosmic

          Patents, unlike trademarks, do not have to be enforced to continue to be held.

  • Edd

    Patents have gone out of hand, and Apple are exploiting them crazily. While I don't blame them, it's tarnished their reputation enough to stop me getting an iPad.

    • The engineer

      Why do people comment on things that the have no knowledge about. /sigh

      • Edd

        The U.S. has some crazy patents out there. Perhaps I'm being unfair on Apple, but their ability to spin old hardware as new sensations, ability to keep their shop closed, and their lack of new features combined with fierce litigation does not endear me to any part of them except for their marketing team.

    • B066Y

      I disagree, the way a company treats their competition is irrelevant to me. I'm only concerned with how they treat their customers. I have had great customer service with Apple, so I will continue to buy from them. That being said, I don't own an iPhone or an iPad, because I refuse to switch carriers. I am very happy with my Android phone though.

      • Uncle Jubba

        Right but if you are also a customer of their competitor then you probably should care about how they treat them.

        • B066Y

          That depends on what type of customer you are...a loyal customer or a customer by default. I'm a loyal Apple customer (until they screw me) and an Android customer by default because that is the best smartphone my carrier currently sells. I like Android enough to be satisfied with it but would switch in a heartbeat if my carrier started selling the iPhone because it would have better integration with my computers and AppleTV.

  • Jaz

    Only thing I will buy from apple as of now is a laptop. I can't use windows anymore due to crashing and other problems. But as far as mobile devices, android is going to be my only choice.

  • Martian Ambassador

    I can't believe anyone is falling for Schmidt's false dichotomy. I guess that is the state of the education system today. . . .

    I'm fairly certain that just as most people can walk and chew gum at the same time, that Apple can both compete in the market place and kick Eric Schmidt in the groin without one distracting from the other.

    Apple's legal arm doesn't require massive supervision from the home office. You let slip your dogs of war and you tally the body parts they come back with.

    • thetruth

      I am sure the OEMs know that Google can't defeat the US patent system
      patents are patents until proven invalid. Shorty of buying judges google having htc's back means diddly squat

  • Guest

    Android for budget phones and tablets hangs a lot. I have been using from froyo days to now jellybean 4.2.xxxxxxxxxx....
    But no other smarter option with so much applications I am using. If windows provide these, I would rather switch to windows. I don't like windows skin, it becomes boring after a few days(I've tried windows launcher on my android), so first I'll change the windows skin. And I never used a windows handset but heard that Songs/Pics can't be shared via bluetooth?

  • neo and rthal

    Android for budget phones and tablets hang a lot. I have been using from froyo days to now jellybean 4.2.xxxxxxxxxx....
    But no other smarter option with so much applications I am using. If windows provide these, I would rather switch to windows. I don't like windows skin, it becomes boring after a few days(I've tried windows launcher on my android), so first I'll change the windows skin. And I never used a windows handset but heard that Songs/Pics can't be shared via bluetooth?