Speaking at Google’s Mobile Revolution conference in Tokyo, Japan, Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google, talked about the growing number of patent lawsuits levied at Android. The ex-Google CEO had a lot to say about the way competitors have decided to go after Android using lawsuits and bogus patent infringement claims.
As we’ve seen lately, companies like Oracle, Microsoft and Apple are increasingly going after Android OEMs in hopes of getting a slice of the Android pie. As we all know, it’s a pretty big, popular and profitable pie. But there’s nothing to worry about, according to Schmidt, who shrugged the whole thing off as just “legal fun.” In other words, these lawsuits are just part of the game.
Schmidt also explained why competitors have recently decided to sue Android supporters, saying:
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. I'm not too worried about this.Eric SchmidtExecutive Chairman of Google
Ouch. Them’s fightin’ words, Mr. Schmidt. As you might know, this is exactly what we’ve been saying for months. But it’s always nice to hear it from a top executive at Google. Put simply, Android is winning and suing Android OEMs is the last option competitors have. Google and its frenetic release cycles have left other mobile platforms in the dust. Just ask Nokia, RIM and Microsoft, who have seen their market share disappear overnight and are now scrambling to survive.
Schmidt seems pretty confident Android will be able to come out of this fight alive. After all, it’s his job to reassure Open Handset Alliance partners that everything is going to be alright. However, we can’t help but wonder if the media (including us) has blown this whole lawsuit war out of proportion. Maybe the reason Google is not fighting back, as far as we know, is because they don’t feel that threatened by these lawsuits.
But it seems comforting words aren’t the only thing Google is offering its OEMs partners. When asked about whether Google would help HTC pay the bills on the lawsuit against Apple, Schmidt said, “We will make sure they don’t lose, then.” Apparently, Google is more involved in these lawsuits than we previously thought. And they seem to be helping their partners with more than just moral support.