Google Chairman 'Not Too Worried' About Apple Lawsuits Over Android

ZDNet Asia reports on comments from Google Chairman Eric Schmidt regarding the recent flurry of lawsuits between Apple and Android-based smartphone manufacturers such as HTC and Samsung. Schmidt's comments, which came at Google's Mobile Revolution conference in Tokyo, reveal that he is "not too worried" about the lawsuits as he takes a shot at Apple (and others such as Oracle and Microsoft) for suing when it "cannot respond through innovations".

Quizzed on the issue [of lawsuits targeting Android], Schmidt replied that this "legal fun" stems from its successes.

"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."

In reference to a recent preliminary victory for Apple in its infringement claims against HTC, Schmidt noted that Google will "make sure" that HTC doesn't lose the case, suggesting that Google is putting significant muscle into HTC's defense.

Asked if Google would help foot HTC's legal bills should they lose, he said: "We will make sure they don't lose, then." He added that the search giant will continue to support its Taiwanese partner in this legal skirmish but declined to go into details.

Despite having been introduced to the public over a year after the launch of the original iPhone, Google's Android has seen rapid adoption as dozens of manufacturers have embraced the mobile operating system and introduced hundreds of handsets utilizing it. For the time being at least, Apple and Google are locked in a battle for smartphone supremacy, with Google having sprinted out to a lead due in large part to the variety of devices available across a host of carriers.

But with smartphones representing an increasing convergence of phones, computers, cameras, and many other technologies, they have become a battleground for patent lawsuits that have threatened to consume enormous resources as companies stake out their positions in the rapidly-expanding market.

Top Rated Comments

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121 months ago
Is Eric T. Mole flapping his gums again?

What is it *this time*, Eric? It's not enough you ripped off Apple something serious, but you then have to point an accusatory finger at them. Apple made your market for you and for everyone else. And they're still doing it.

Apple is the one that has been doing all the "innovating" in the first place. Not little UI changes, but redefinitions of entire markets, and the creation of new ones. With stuff that at first blush baffles everyone, until Apple shows them it's "safe" to jump in.

Android would probably look like BlackBerry OS (just look at the original screenshots) if iOS hadn't been released. But Eric was taking notes at those board meetings.

First came the iPhone. Then, out of nowhere, everything else looked like an iPhone. Everyone else introduced an App Store modelled on the REAL App Store.

Apple releases the iPad. Then every other tablet out there (the also-rans suddenly got back into the game, I wonder why) started looking like an iPad. Well, alright, they *tried* to look like an iPad. But all they really provide is comic relief in doing so.

No wonder Steve was monumentally pissed at Eric.

Apple has been getting ripped off since 2007. They are now responding because there is too much out there that violates their IP. The infringements have reached critical mass. Apple is now looking to clean up the game. This is normal.
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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121 months ago
"competitors are responding with lawsuits as they cannot respond through innovations"

Oh really? Apple did innovate - and doing so, changed the very definition of a smartphone. They are now simply trying to protect their investment.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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121 months ago
I like how google and samsung are using a similar technique of saying "nuh uh, we're not copying you, you just need to innovate more". Neither group tries to argue their innovating, just that apple needs to innovate more, and sue less, apparently so they have more things to copy.

Copying iOS isn't providing consumers choice, choice would be the competitors providing a novel product for customers to CHOOSE between.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
121 months ago
Just as a little reminder, this is how the google phone prototype looked like before the iPhone was shown to the public:



Just a copy of the RIM 'innovations' where the finally released one was a copy of the Apple 'innovations'.

Google had no idea how to build a good new innovative smart phone until they saw what Apple did - and than they copied and polished some edges - not truly innovative.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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121 months ago
What a hypocrite.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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121 months ago
There are good Android phones out there (not the cheaper ones, but the more expensive ones) ... but I wouldn't call them innovative or 'game changing' ... they are just polished versions of existing stuff (that might be protected by patents or not).

But calling Apple being not innovative and doing law suits instead - that is just a joke. At least Apple innovated many things that changes the way how people (and other companies) look at technology.

MP3 was a good, but not exciting market until Apple created the iPod
SmartPhones were ok but not exciting for everyone until the iPhone came out
Tablets were a fail until the iPad came out.

Apple did NOT create any of these markets, but they changed them through their innovations. (some might argue it created the 'iPad' market since it is not really the same as the old type of tablet and that it is a new device class)

But this whole quote just shows what a jerk Schmidt is and that is was probably a smart decision to remove him from the position as CEO (as damage control measurement)
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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