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Schmidt: Apple, Microsoft Android lawsuits just jealousy

updated 09:15 am EDT, Tue July 19, 2011

Google chair claims innocence in Android lawsuits

Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt in a speech at his company's Mobile Revolution conference in Tokyo claimed that lawsuits and trade disputes from Apple and Microsoft were just the result of jealousy. The two were mad at the rapid growth of Android, now up to 550,000 activations a day, and were only trying to slow it down. Google had "not done anything wrong" in spite of ITC findings of patent violations, and competitors were just envious of Android features.

"Because they are not responding with innovation, they're responding with lawsuits," Perth Now heard among the remarks.

Google was supporting HTC in trying to appeal the loss to the ITC, although it wasn't clear whether this would be anything other than moral support. The company has historically done little in public to materially support partners facing lawsuits. It has also been unusually timid in securing patents; during the recent Nortel patent bid, it backed off suddenly despite knowing that a coalition headed by Apple, Microsoft, and RIM was in the running and could likely use the 6,000 patents to sue Google's partners again.

The statements are slightly ironic for Schmidt. Much of Android's early direction was influenced by the iPhone. It was originally unveiled as a BlackBerry-like design with only some concessions made to touch, but the success of the iPhone led to a conspicuous refocus on touchscreens as well as attempts to fill out services that it was missing that Apple had. Microsoft's Windows Phone in turn has been described as one of the few genuinely innovative operating systems in the post-iPhone era with a focus on home tiles and task-oriented hubs rather than just isolated apps.

It's nonetheless widely presumed that Apple and Microsoft are using lawsuits to slow Google down and reducing the incentives to choose Android for those who aren't making their own platforms. Google makes Android free to license, but patent royalties could negate much of the difference. Some companies in China are moving to Windows Phone for at least a piece of their lineups, since it either avoids royalty payouts altogether or reduces the likelihood Microsoft will try to demand a toll.

by MacNN Staff



  1. facebook_Charlie

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Jul 2011


    Go to Jail

    This man must have signed some nondisclosure forms to set on Apple's board.

  1. gprovida

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Innovation built on copying?

    Innovation in Apps, or specific OS innovations [e.g., badges or notices], etc. is great. But if that innovation is build on copying the core design, IP, etc. and then giving it away, then its very unfair. WebOS, MS Windows 7, QNX, and iOS, build and invest in fundamental innovation. Google and their HW vendors disregard this with particular focus on JAVA, H.264, etc. and apply a veneer of difference and then give it away. Innovation is risky and costs money, whether you choose to give it away, e.g., webkit, bonjour, facetime, etc. is your decision, but to take other's work and then claim competition is disingenuous.

  1. hayesk

    Joined: Dec 1969


    How nice

    He can spout nonsense all he wants. The court disagrees with him.

    Oh, and if we want to talk about innovation, let's have a look at an early Android prototype:

    Hmm... looks an awful lot like the products from market leader at the time: RIM

    What caused them to suddenly switch to a touch-based metaphor with a larger screen? Hmm... I wonder.

  1. pairof9s

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Sticks & Stones

    And using other companies' products & services without compensation is stealing.

    Sticks & stones, Schmidt, sticks & stones.


  1. rfrmac

    Joined: Dec 1969


    You Must Be Kidding

    One of the worst mistakes that Apple made was to have Eric on their Board. This just makes me mad. I have always wondered what good Boards of Directors are.

  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    F.U., Schmidt...

    You got on the Apple board to steal ideas from Apple and now it's time to pay the piper. Be prepared for slowing Android growth over the next six months. Hopefully, both Microsoft and Apple will make more money from Android than Google does. Every activation of an Android device will put money into Apple and Microsoft's pocket. That sounds like a serious no-win situation for Google and Android.

  1. PeterCao

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Eric Schmidt

    Here are some real happenings that Eric Schmidt's side dare not deny but trying to escape. Wish these concerns could be clarified to the public.

    Eric Schmidt had involved himself in a case in Stanford which regards to the murdering of a U.S. citizen.

    Particularly, on 02/25/2007, Eric Schmidt had sent to me message to threaten my life with the mysterious death of a completely innocent Stanford student named May Zhou ( a girl of Taiwan origin, U.S. citizen, MIT alumnus and Stanford Ph.D. student), "You see May Zhou, if..., May Zhou is an Asian, police may not even find out who did it, what if it happened to you?"

    U.S. authorities investigation suggests Eric Schmidt's side had endangered my life multiple times during his fight with Stanford since then. There are still conspiracies behind the scene which no one dare clarify at authorities, and Eric Schmidt had a role in this plotted murder case about May Zhou.

    By the way, though Police initially ruled May Zhou's death as a suicide case, most people, including those who know May Zhou before her death, seriously doubt it. In Feburary 2011, I have informed police with key points, which had produced undeniable supporting evidence that May Zhou's case is a plotted murder but not suicide after authorities' investigation.

    Eric Schmidt get himself involved into crimes regards to people's lives, but he didn't pay for his crime.


    See comments part in the following linkto find out what's going on in Eric Schmidt's case

    Here are some interesting discussions about Eric's crime in the murder case:

    Here is an interesting link to the case where all crimes from Eric Schmidt's side started
    attention to the photo evidence in the context.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. facebook_Charles

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Jul 2011


    Can't we all just get along?

    Imagine if everyone put product aside for a year or two, work together with one common goal: make things better for all humanity. I bet if we follow that model with all of this fervor and passion, the profits will come--plenty for all! You may say I'm just a poet dreamer, but I'm not the only one. =)

  1. kimgh

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Schmidt is a loose cannon

    It never ceases to amaze me how CEO's and their ilk find it necessary to make idiotic comments like this. It must be a disease that afflicts the powerful (for it seems to afflict politicians as well).

    Here's a novel concept: how about shutting up and creating delightful products that speak for themselves? About the only tech execs doing this are those at Apple (and I don't claim even they do this perfectly, either. Steve has spoken out of school a time or two.)

    In this particular case, I'm not fooled in the slightest by Schmidt's rhetoric. He has a track record of saying really stupid things. At best, this is a serious case of projection. He hasn't a leg to stand on here.

  1. DarelRex

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Licensing Fees? Uhhh.. No

    It's surprising to me how many people are talking about how much money Apple is going to make by charging licensing fees to HTC. Why does anyone think this will happen? Since when has Apple patented inventions so it can license them out? Apple wants to use its patented inventions in its own products, so people will be more likely to buy those products.

    If Apple wins (or has already won) this HTC suit, it's very unlikely it will charge HTC anything other than damages and/or legal fees. Apple wants HTC to *stop using* its patents. Period.

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