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

androidZDNet 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

*LTD* Avatar
134 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)
jeff33702 Avatar
134 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)
Bigdaddyguido Avatar
134 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)
0815 Avatar
134 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)
Mjmar Avatar
134 months ago
What a hypocrite.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
0815 Avatar
134 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)

Related Stories

General Apps Messages

Android iMessage Competitor Puts Pressure on Apple

Friday July 30, 2021 3:15 am PDT by
Google and the three major U.S. carriers, including Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, will all support a new communications protocol on Android smartphones starting in 2022, a move that puts pressure on Apple to adopt a new cross-platform messaging standard and may present a challenge to iMessage. Verizon recently announced that it is planning to adopt Messages by Google as its default messaging...
iphone 13 teal with text

Apple Begins Preparation for iPhone 13 Production Ahead of Fall Launch

Monday June 28, 2021 3:29 am PDT by
We're just a few months away from when Apple is expected to reveal the 2021 iPhone, dubbed the "iPhone 13." In preparation for its launch, it has been pulling in shipments of different components needed to produce the new iPhones, according to a report from DigiTimes. In years past, Apple released its latest iPhone lineup, alongside a new Apple Watch, during a September event at Apple Park....
studio buds family

Beats Studio Buds Debuting Today With Active Noise Cancellation, Stemless Design, and More for $150

Monday June 14, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
We've seen a lot of teasers about the Beats Studio Buds over the past month since they first showed up in Apple's beta software updates, and today they're finally official. The Beats Studio Buds are available to order today in red, white, and black ahead of a June 24 ship date, and they're priced at $149.99. The Studio Buds are the first Beats-branded earbuds to truly compete with AirPods...
bluetti eb70 main

MacRumors Giveaway: Win a Bluetti EB70 Portable Power Station and 200W Solar Panel

Friday September 3, 2021 11:13 am PDT by
For this week's giveaway, we've teamed up with MAXOAK to offer MacRumors readers a chance to win a Bluetti portable power station and an accompanying solar panel. Bluetti makes a range of portable power station options that are useful for camping, emergencies, power outages, off-grid living, and similar situations. The Bluetti EB70 is a solid middle of the road option that offers 716Wh and...
apple privacy

Apple Publishes FAQ to Address Concerns About CSAM Detection and Messages Scanning

Monday August 9, 2021 1:50 am PDT by
Apple has published a FAQ titled "Expanded Protections for Children" which aims to allay users' privacy concerns about the new CSAM detection in iCloud Photos and communication safety for Messages features that the company announced last week. "Since we announced these features, many stakeholders including privacy organizations and child safety organizations have expressed their support of...
macos catalina legacy system extension alert

Apple Begins Warning Users That 'Legacy System Extensions' Won't Work With a Future Version of macOS

Wednesday March 25, 2020 9:53 am PDT by
Apple has shared a new support document that indicates kernel extensions — which it calls "legacy system extensions" — will not be compatible with a future version of macOS because they "aren't as secure or reliable as modern alternatives."System extensions are a category of software that works in the background to extend the functionality of your Mac. Some apps install kernel extensions, which...
General Spotify Feature

Spotify Pauses Plans to Add AirPlay 2 Support to iOS App [Update: Spotify Clarifies]

Friday August 6, 2021 9:07 am PDT by
See update at bottom of article Spotify this week confirmed that its plans to add AirPlay 2 support to its iOS app have been placed on indefinite hiatus. In an online discussion forum post, a Spotify representative said the streaming music service had been working on supporting AirPlay 2, but the company has paused the efforts "for now" due to "audio driver compatibility issues." The...
youtube apple tv

YouTube Discontinuing 3rd-Generation Apple TV App, AirPlay Still Available

Wednesday February 3, 2021 3:09 pm PST by
YouTube is planning to stop supporting its YouTube app on the third-generation Apple TV models, where YouTube has long been available as a channel option. A 9to5Mac reader received a message about the upcoming app discontinuation, which is set to take place in March.Starting early March, the YouTube app will no longer be available on Apple TV (3rd generation). You can still watch YouTube on...
os x mountain lion macs 16x9 2

Apple Makes OS X Lion and Mountain Lion Free to Download

Wednesday June 30, 2021 12:19 pm PDT by
Apple recently dropped the $19.99 fee for OS X Lion and Mountain Lion, making the older Mac updates free to download, reports Macworld. Apple has kept OS X 10.7 Lion and OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion available for customers who have machines limited to the older software, but until recently, Apple was charging $19.99 to get download codes for the updates. As of last week, these updates no...
Pixel Stand 23W 668x445

Google Pixel 6 Rumored to Support 23W Wireless Charging, Beating iPhone 12's MagSafe

Wednesday September 1, 2021 1:54 am PDT by
Google is rumored to be working on a new wireless charging stand that could deliver 23W of charging power to its upcoming Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro phones, according to a leaked inventory image published by Android Police. Image via Android Police. If true, that would beat the iPhone 12's maximum 15W wireless charging speed (or 12W on ‌iPhone 12 mini‌) using Apple's MagSafe charger, and...