Google Building a Team of Patent Lawyers, Advisors and Experts


Let’s face it – Google’s partners are under a lot of stress. Their decision to go with Android came with a lot of headache. It’s not that we didn’t see potential legal problems in Google’s future before, it’s that we never imagined so many different companies would target Google and their hardware vendors. Most of it has to do with patent infringement, cases which Google believes stifles competition. It does stifle competition, but that doesn’t make infringement legal under today’s system.

Fortunately, Google won’t take it lying down. At the very least, they need to make sure Android’s distribution isn’t affected by the mountains of cases stacked against them. I’m sure they’re fine with settling or paying licensing fees, but some of these cases have the potential of being ruled against Google’s favor and could very well see the death of Android licensing. We’re not sure if that’ll ever happen, but we certainly hope it doesn’t.

That’s why we’re glad to see Google bidding for patent portfolio’s like the one Nortel had. Although they lost that auction, it shows that Google was making yet another aggressive push to secure patents so that they can go on about their business. Now, they’re taking an even bigger step forward.

Google’s building a team of patent lawyers to help them in all this. Everything from handling patent lawsuit cases to scouting prospects and setting up for acquisitions will be the team’s responsibility. Google knows they won’t be able to win this battle by claiming that competition is being stifled every time someone serves them a subpoena so they’re making real moves to properly handle this ongoing issue. Let’s hope all of this turns out to be as fruitful as Google wants it to be in the long run. [TechCrunch]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. I’d hope one of the functions of this group will be lobbying to change patent law.

  2. Good call, but I think it’s a little weird it’s taken this long to get this going.

    1. Maybe because Google probably didn’t see this coming. No one could have expected a phone to come out and challenge Apple and have MS leeching off Android phones. Hmm…

  3. Correction: Google’s partnerS…

  4. too little, too late? I sure hope not….

  5. Google wanted to avoid this crap. They do take the do no evil slogan very serious. But defense is important and I trust Google will do the right thing with there patents. I’m glad to see they are finally getting into that game to hit Apple and Microsoft with their own games.

    1. Google wanted to avoid this crap? Look it up on google patents, they have application for 15,000 patents, and they were awarded and have 14,000 patents. You really believe they’re not doing evil? If they hadn’t stolen ideas, then they should have been able to prove it in court and not lost all these patent battles already.

      1. They did not “Steal” anything….. The fact of the matter is that the current patent system is inefficient! It allows for broad and vague patents to be awarded, and then used only to sue anyone that comes close to “infringing” upon it. Google does not just want to avoid this (as it is obvious they were trying to do by making the OS OPEN SOURCE!) they want to change the patent system so that companies cannot start legal battle after legal battle only to ensure that there is no relevant competition for their products, and so that companies will not be able to sue just to get a settlement out of Google and waste the courts time.

        Do you see Google attacking anyone? Do you see them asking for money for licensing?

        No, you don’t…. and I didn’t think you would….

        When it comes down to it… It…. why doesn’t Apple go after any competitor that offers Ubuntu on their products? Because there is no money to be made from stifling that competition.

        1. Google not suing anybody else could also mean that there is nothing they invented, they only steal ideas, so that’s why they have nothing to sue for. If microsoft had stolen any of google’s ideas, google could have worked out a licensing agreement with MS, but google had nothing to go on, they just use code other people developed and paid to develop so therefore they have nothing to sue for.

          1. “they just use code other people developed”

            That’s the most baseless claim i have ever heard. Google already has proven that there is no code within Android that Oracle “owned”. Android was built by Google from the base up, they didn’t steal the ideas from anybody. Don’t make such a claim unless there is proof that Android code was stolen, as everything points to Google designing Android from the base up.

          2. Why is Google paying Microsoft then? MS can’t just make a baseless claim and expect to get paid. If google didn’t copy MS then why is it paying MS? If MS’s patent is too broad, then why doesn’t it contest the patent itself? It seems like if google did not steal any code or ideas, they should (with their billions) be able to prove it..

          3. To reply to Sitting, Google is paying becaus they’re incoporating activesync. Yes to access MS exchange you need to license ActiveSync from MS. Everyone who access exchange pays MS.

      2. Michael summed it up better then I could, but as you replied to me I’ll just explain my comment.

        We all know software patents are not just annoying but have significant impact on the whole of human technology. Phones are where the money is right now but medical equipment and transportation are likely targets to be hit next.

        Think about history for a moment, not just about facts that could support your preconceived notions. How many times has Google sued someone for patent infringement? Not applied for, sued or coerced.. patents are defensive as well as offensive remember. Now, compare with similar companies Apple and Microsoft..

        Google’s business is advertising, it pays them for us to have choice. Monopolies are bad for their business. Monopolies are also bad for us. History and facts speak for themselves a lot better then paranoia and conservatism. (Not to make this political but I suspect that is the underlying difference of opinion.)

        1. Patents are monopolies. The incentive to invent is that if you invest in research, if you pay engineers salaries for years and pay for labs etc, you can get a monopoly for a limited time. If there were no patents/limited time monopolies, then why would anybody invest so much money to develop and improve the old dumb-phone?

          1. This may be the dumbest thing I have every heard. So only because of patents is why things developed? Wow

          2. Did I say only because of patents? It’s one of the many reasons technologies are developed. If you tell MS to build a lab and pay engineers to make something which some other company can use and profit from, why would MS pay for research and development? Research and development is paid for so that the company can end up with patents. Look up any history or explanation of patents, and that’s a reason behind patents.

          3. Except software is not developed in a lab. Software doesn’t even need to be written to be patented. Software patents are just thought concepts, someone tries to think of a way of doing something that is likely to be used… and then they patent it and wait for someone to do it.

            Software patents are just ridiculous and do much more harm then good.

      3. so what did they steal? Pleas tell me what they stole. I forgot apple invented everything yet why did they copy features that were in android since 1.5 and is just now making it into IOS5? Please troll run and hide. smh

        1. I don’t know what MS claims they invented in this case, but google does and google could have proven they did not steal ideas, but they could not. And those new features in the ios supposedly stolen from android were actually done before android, on a jailbroken ios. apple hired the jailbreak os designers of the message processing and then paid them to make it for the official ios. Just because ios barely uses it doesn’t mean it hasn’t already been done years and years before on the jailbroken ios side.

          1. “And those new features in the ios supposedly stolen from android were actually done before android, on a jailbroken ios”

            Those featuers were in android 1.5, which was out in 2007 on the first android smartphones, the same time as the first iphone. So what you’re telling us is that jailbroken iphones had a pull down notification shade in 2007? And Apple hired those devs to implement it on the iphone? Then please explain why it took them 4 years to get it in ios?

            The only time I recall Google going after anyone was with Microsoft’s Bing browser. The reason they did that was when you’d search on Bing, it’d take Google’s results and repackage them as their own. If that’s not straight out theft then I don’t know what is.

          2. So suing for copying code/techniques is only okay when google does it to MS? Google has billions to spend in court, if they are not copying MS, they should be able to prove it. They cannot so that’s why they are now paying.
            And Android came out After the iphone had success, not at the ‘same time’ maniac. Way to rewrite history. The first release of an Android OS was October 2008, the iphone came out in June 2007, over one year before Android. And apple takes a long time to introduce features in ios because they don’t want to have the random reboot issues like thc thunderbolt, or battery drain issues like all android phones (poorly designed widgets maybe). Why doesn’t google sue if they invented it then? I doubt they invented it, pull down menu’s existed before, message centers existed beforehand. And the notification center is copying android, but the marketplace didn’t copy the app store? Which was the bigger idea that influenced more? Blackberry had apps before apple but very very few and you had to go through a lot of trouble to install them through a pc. Not the same thing, android copied the app store model not the blackberry model. Plus I owned a 200 dollar samsung in 2007, it cost 2.50 for a 30 second rington clip, a total waste of money compared to what you can get in apps now.

          3. I see you like to bring up the MS argument over and over again. Again, paying licensing to MS for Activesync is mandatory for anyone connecting to Exchange.

            I think you’ve missed the point of the concept of don’t be evil. I think that would include not suing if someone copied one of your features if you didn’t think it was necessarily a big deal.

            I think you also need to understand the concept of software patents versus actual inventions. Software patents are a recent patent innovation. The value of software patents to society are difficult to ascertain. It’s analogous me giving you a hammer, nails and wood and telling you to build a let’s say a birdhouse. How many ways can you build a birdhouse have each one be unique or not patentable? That’s kind of the situation with software patents. All programmers have the same tools and same programming language to work with. How many ways is it possible to recreate the same functionlity with the same tools? Software patents are a bad idea, one reason why they’re not honored everywhere.

          4. -1 like.

            I hear Apple is preparing for AATC which is similar to WWDC, but it stands for “All Apple ‘Tards Conference”, soon where they’re practicing their canned responses for the next wave of Apple “innovation”. For example, when and if Apple decides to allow widgets, the masses are instructed to spout that it’s innovative and Apple had it first “on a jailbroken device” even though it was nowhere to be seen and wasn’t implemented by Apple themselves.

  6. This is gonna be apple’s,microsoft’s,oracle’s etc.. new trolling method:

    1. hahaha,

      1. i laughed alot… so much that i replayed it like a million times lol

  7. and they are gonna bid against one another to patent it lol to show every1 who is the biggest troll of them all

  8. I think the major Android players, Google, HTC, Moto, SE, Samsung, etc should form some sort of cooperative consortium and pull their resources together as far as Legal and Patent issues go. M$ or Apple tries to sue 1 of them, they pull together and attack them back

  9. I’d love to see Crapple get snuffed out.

  10. Hope part of this team will help us developers against trolls like Lodsys

  11. Faggot bitch.

  12. And I got your mom for 2 cents. and she drives herself!

    1. so it’s you!!! you outbid me by a penny! grrrrrr!

      1. It’s ok, I got outbid by 2 cents.

  13. Its too bad the patent system isn’t working correctly. While it is meant as incentive to put in research and innovate, it has become an incentive to just have a think tank of people to patent ideas(the more vague/general the better) to then use in lawsuits/counter lawsuits.

    The only thing that could give android an edge(patent wise) is if the OHA started pooling patents for countersuits only. So unlikely to happen though.

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