Do You Think Google is Right in its Stance Against Patent Trolls?


I somehow feel I don’t need to ask our reader base this question, but I’m curious anyway – what do you think about Google’s stance against patents and the recent lawsuits they’ve incurred because of them? We clearly want what’s best for Android, and I’m sure a majority of us are hoping for patent reform sometime this decade.

I’m still wondering if there is anyone out there who feels Google’s in the wrong, though. As much as I don’t like today’s patent system, it’s a legal entity for individuals and corporations to protect their assets and no amount of distaste for it will exempt anyone, even Google, from following the law.

Even then, anti-trust concerns have always taken precedence over legal rights and processes, which is why the judicial sect of our government scrutinizes many high-profile transactions each and every year.

Personally, I’m on Google’s side. No one had a problem until Android began kicking them into the ground and their competitors have clearly come together to try and knock them off of a throne they fear Google will have for quite some time.

Considering the members of the consortium attempting to buy up all of these patents (including successful purchases of Nortel’s and Novell’s patents) are all direct competitors of Google’s in the mobile space, I’d say they have pretty good reason to be upset.

With the advent of technology, the patent landscape has changed tremendously since its arrival. The system was installed at a time where innovation was truly prevalent and where companies responsible for those inventions only wanted to use the patents to protect their inventions.

Now, individuals and companies lay in the wait, hoping to capitalize on successful ventures that could only be because of the patents they hold. They refuse to innovate on their own, and instead will  prefer to wait for someone else to do the ground work so they can come in and yank the rug from beneath them.

I’m sure Google’s not the only firm infringing on all of these patents, but they and their partners are the only ones being forced into expensive and headache-inducing legal battles.

Thankfully, they certainly will get the spotlight they’re asking for. Do you think they’re wrong for being upset and against this? Do you think they and their OEMs should have properly researched the technology they were using before going ahead?

[polldaddy poll=5345482]

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. Yes of course Google is right.

  2. As much as I love google and android, i DO think they could have approached it in a more cautious way. Then again i hate to see them losing this round (Even though it looks likely they’re gonna lose it) because that only means trouble for us android users. But its not wrong to say apple and microsoft are acting up because of android’s success. Everybody wants a slice of the cake right?

    1. From news I read yesterday, Nortel patents purchased by consortium of Microsoft Apple ..etc have just been voided to be used against Android makers.

      1. link or…YOUR LYING! :)

        1. a little googling helps, http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111903635604576476430510833852.html by the way, i gained nothing to make this lie :)

          1. “have just been voided”

            That’s the part that may not be set in stone yet. At least, I haven’t read anything definitive. Hoping for the best though.

    2. If you guys haven’t already, check out the recent ThisAmericanLife episode on patent trolls, it’ll get your blood boiling!

    3. I don’t think Google did anything wrong. The made their platform and upgraded it as they saw fit. I would blame OEM’s (and maybe Google just a bit) for not enforcing upgrades of their devices. Fragmentation is an issue, but I don’t think Google could have really done anything about it.

      As for Apple and Microsoft, what they are doing is completely wrong. The reason they are “acting up” is because of Androids success, not because they just want to f*** s*** up. They would be competing against each other, and each other alone, if Android didn’t exist/ didn’t have an extremely high percentage of the smartphone market. My two examples of this: Microsoft makes more money from Android then it does from WP7 due to patent royalties, and Apple has been taking legal action against every big (and small) android device company in order to shut down the competition.

      As for the cake, I totally agree. I could use some right now actually.

  3. I wonder what kind of smartphone we’d all own if Android never showed up a few years ago.

    1. I’d likely be on a WP7 phone. Definitely not an iPhone or the stuck-in-the-90s Blackberry.

      In fact, I’m thinking to start developing for WP7 mainly because I’m a .Net/SharePoint developer.

      1. Ya, I’m guessing most of us would be.. but I’m curious to even see where smartphones would be at, I think Android has majorly influenced the tech, even for Apple. I don’t think we’d be seeing dual core behemoths of phones.

        1. What exactly is dual core achieving right now? My iPhone 3g has smoother browsing than my Nexus S, and I bet it is smoother than any dual core android phone out there. There really is no difference between Nexus S, and other dual core phones in terms of performance. And Android surely doesn’t have any apps that need dual cores. It’s just to get you nerds all wet in your pants.

          1. Last time I checked, the Nexus S is a single core device.

          2. That’s the point. There is no real difference in overall performance in the UI between a single core phone like the Nexus S, and dual core phones. Dual core hasn’t even made a difference in Android’s biggest problem: terrible battery life.

          3. I don’t know what Android phones you have owned, but I can certainly say that none of my Android phones besides the Hero had bad battery life.

          4. They all have terrible battery life. You have probably never used anything other than Android if you really believe that. My Nexus S would have 30% left when I would come home from work with light use.

            When you compare Android phones to blackberries and iPhones, it is down right terrible.

          5. Blackberries and iPhones don’t have that great of battery life either. Smartphones in general have worse battery life in comparison to a dumbphone. I remember when my old Moto RAZR would go 3-4 days at a time
            before requiring a charge. Before root on the EVO 3D, I had received a nice avg of 16 hours before charging on heavy usage. These days that kind of battery life is hard to find on a quality smartphone.

          6. Blackberries and iPhones DO have SIGNIFICANTLY better battery life than Android devices. Comparing it to a dumb phone like the RAZR is fucking idiotic. Compare similar generations. I know first hand the difference between all three since I own all of them. You really don’t know jack shit about iOS and BB if you really think they dont have much better life than Android devices.

          7. Ok, if that is your logic then why does my co-worker have to charge his iP4 every few hours to keep it from dying? Why does my wife constantly have to charge her iPod? Perhaps you are the one that doesn’t know shit. I was simply making a correlation between older generation phones and recent smartphones and how battery life has changed overall. You going out of your way to toss around insults just makes you sound/look more like the moron you claim I am.

          8. Because you’re an idiot. It’s quite obvious.

            Here are the benchmarks for browsing on 3g data for many smart phones. Look where iPhone is and look where Android phones are. Look at the values and compare.


          9. your smoking,right..my nexus kills my cousins iphone

    2. Sadly, I think the majority of us would be iSheep.

      1. How so?

      2. getting me a unlocked razr..if the devils won.

    3. I probably wouldn’t own a smartphone. I’d still be using a feature phone. Well besides my work BB. My personal phone would be a feature phone. I looked at the iPhone when it first came out and didn’t like it at all. And I especially didn’t like the type of people who gravitated towards it as well.

      The only reason I got a smartphone was because I dropped my feature phone in the toilet the day before the OG Droid went on sale. Seriously, it was an accident. I went into Verizon to see what was available for new phones, played with the Droid, and I’ve been hooked on Android since. I’ve even got my wife and oldest daughter hooked on it.

    4. I was using Windows Mobile 6.5 before I bought my Droid. I didn’t think much of Android early on and I was excited about the rumors of Windows Mobile 7 (which turned out to be Windows Phone 7). However, as Android began to evolve and work out the kinks (and as Windows Phone 7 took FOREVER to be released) I took the plunge and never looked back.

      I don’t think I would have ever been interested in the iPhone. Having grown accustomed to the tweakability of Windows Mobile, I recognized iOS’s limitations from the beginning.

    5. a motorola razr…never again will i hold a iphone again or ms phone..i had all three..droid forever

  4. Apple are completely scared of Android hence the patent war they have going on. They try to stop Android devices being sold. They should focus on innovating which is what brought them to the point they are right now…

    Microsoft know they will never make money with WP7 which is why they try to have vendor pay for each Android device so they are not left out on all that cash…

    Oracle, they’ve been suing everyone for the past few years… they are just out of idea on what to do :P

  5. Hmmm…interesting poll choices. I cant vote yet…lol. Both are good points. I agree with the first choice, but the 2nd one…I never even thought about that…

  6. Google tends to leap without looking at times. They think like geeks, not businessmen, which is OK unless you’re trying to run a business instead of just having fun. Look at the Nexus One. That was a very ill-conceived business plan. It never dawned on them that without carriers being the point of contact, they’d need to provide a lot of round-the-clock tech support.

    The same deal with the patents. They should have though things through, and got the ducks in a row. Instead, like the good geeks they are, they just jumped in with both feet and eyes closed.

    1. Here here. They are totally geeks. And dare I say a little arrogant. Arrogant to think that their altruistic ideals will be loved and appreciated by all.

      I totally love them by the way. But their naivety is getting them hammered

      1. What if, and I stress the if here, what if Google leads a revolution and actually gets the ball rolling to a point where there is a software patent reform? Would Google be naive then? The money they waste on useless patents could aid them in patent reform down the road.

  7. There is no right or wrong here. There is only one answer: Google


  8. Google is right and wrong… Should Google have taken a more careful approach and covered their ends before the venture? (Yes) Was this not an issue till Android started kicking the big boys teeth in? (No) Android was smiled upon and talked highly by the tech world. Many backed the project and spoke out about open source being a positive in innovation. Now that Android and Google have take over the smart phone world and are a huge success, all parties are crying that they want money.

    Innovate and keep your products relevant and then you will not need to sue. Bad Fruit, Global dominating Microsoft, and others need to take a long look in the mirror and find who is really to blame.

    Is Google 100% in the right? (No) But have they innovated and made things better? (Yes) The Android community is strong and has more power than it is given credit for…

    1. When Apple can win against HTC with patents they had from 17 years ago, before smartphones, Google and HTC even existed, it’s hard to defend against that. The patent system is broken.

  9. If a patent has merit, then I agree for others to fight for infringements. However, if the patent was purchased to prevent others from innovating, then that is a whole separate issue. Another problem is if a patent is so broad it prevents competition, then I am against it as well. An example would be a patent for “any device that is hand held for communication purposes”.

    1. Then you are against patents in general, because there is no way to enforce nor prove the exceptions you’re suggesting. I generally agree with what you’re saying, but it’s unenforceable and therefore the only solution is to do away with software patents entirely.

      Copyrights and trade secret laws are more than enough to protect companies and encourage innovation.

  10. Google is right, sort of. Patents can be useful in protecting the innovations and inventions of a company/individual as they try to benefit from them. The problem that seems to keep coming up these days is that there are patents on things that are astoundingly obvious. Numbers that link to the phone app or a grid of icons seem like natural evolutions of a product. On the other hand, the way of producing that within the phone seems like what a patent ought to be. For instance, the exact algorithm that Google uses to rank search results, or the software that keeps a phone connected to the closest tower.

    All four of these examples are software-related, but only two seem to me like they should be patent-able.

  11. Google is right because software patents should not exist.

    The irony is that in about 1990ish when the very idea of being able to patent software first appeared in the industry (before it was actually allowed) some loud and vocal opposition was from some of the leading lights at . . .


    Yes, several if their big name internal developers wrote about how bad software patents would make things. That was 20 years ago. I can only remember one remark in particular. The guy said that if this goes through things would get to the point where it would be impossible to write software without a lawyer.

    Welcome to the 21st century.

    Google, you, me, nor anyone else can write software without infringing on God only knows how many patents held by every major tech company on the planet, and a bunch of unknown patent troll companies. These companies didn’t have to do anything to *actually* innovate. All they had to do was acquire patents, or file a bunch of bogus paper-patents. (That is, a patent without any actual implementation.)

    As an aside, a few years ago I had been located and then was paid several hundred dollars an hour to be an expert witness defending Citrix against a patent suit on an invalid patent, because I had worked on a shipping, for-sale, commercial product (for Mac) in 1987 that was prior art, and thus made this paper-patent completely invalid. When I say paper-patent, I mean a patent with no actual machine or implementation attached. Just a patent with claims. USPTO just rubber stamps it APPROVED. Patent granted. Fortunately, I had a dusty, shrink-wrapped copy of the product box with floppy disks (Timbuktu) and manual (with screenshots of Finder 3.1 about box!) that was evidence. I had personally co-written the code and had detailed memories including dates. The parties “settled” under undisclosed terms and this never went anywhere. I made a nice chunk of change for having a dusty old keepsake and detailed memories.

    Anyone who says Google did anything wrong, in this particular instance, regarding patent infringement, doesn’t know what they are talking about. As I said, it is IMPOSSIBLE not to infringe patents. Infringing patents is not avoidable. The patent system is seriously broken. Trolls are exploiting it.

    Here is another example. For some reason, someone out there doesn’t want there to exist any free video codec. They have managed to find patents and sign up several patent owners to form a “patent pool” for licensing, to anyone who makes a video codec. So Google releases a free video codec. Supposedly not covered by any of these existing patents. Yea! A free video codec anyone can implement, compile, use, modify and distribute. Now, whoever it is that wants to prevent free video codecs, is actively seeking patent owners with anything that could cover Google’s free video codec. I bet they’ll find something. And they’ll sue anyone using Google’s “free” VC1 codec.

    Ditto for Android. There cannot be a free or open source phone platform! It is just un-American and of the devil! Those evil, hippy, commie, terrorist, freetards that think it should even be possible for someone to write software and give their own work away under an open license. How dare they! And worse, it hurts Microsoft and/or Apple. So it just cannot be allowed. All software should be taxed by patent royalties just as God intended.

    1. Sorry. If you want to give away your own IP rights, that’s fine. Have at it. But others need to protect those rights because they rely on them to make a living. Is the system screwed up? Yes. But without some form of IP protection, only large corporations will be able to make money off of anything. Individual creators will just have their stuff taken and used (sold) while they don’t see a dime.

      After all, it’s the American way that the individual gets ground into the dirt so corporations can steal from them and get rich, right?

      1. Software has always been protected by copyright. If you write software, then you own copyright.

        Patents on software never were necessary and are not necessary now. They have done nothing to advance innovation and have done a lot to hinder innovation.

        Before software patents, a thriving commercial market existed (and exists) for software. If someone steals your software and distributes it, then you sue for copyright infringement.

        Patents are about saying, “hey, Google is making lots of money and I want some of it!”. So file for, or acquire some bogus patent and sue.

        Software patents are not now and never were about protecting IP.

        1. Copyright doesn’t work for software either. Software isn’t text: it’s a process. Processes are patented, not copyrighted.

          Granted, the patent office doesn’t often have a clue, and that was especially true in the early days when obvious, common patterns and processes were “patented” by anyone who thought to do so, but that just means the system isn’t working, not that it ought be eliminated.

          1. Software is not a process, it’s machine code, and it is most certainly copyrightable, as is the source code used to generate that machine code.

          2. Copyright works for software. You stated that the goal was to protect your IP. If you develop a program nobody can copy it verbatim.

            That doesn’t mean nobody else should be able to write programs.

            As you point out, the USPTO doesn’t have a clue and is severely broken. That broken system is hurting the industry. Right now it is attractive to move your software business OUTSIDE of the US. Therefore, the system should be fixed or eliminated. Since it will never be fixed, it should be eliminated. Of course, that is probably impossible as well.

            Oh, and I would like World Peace.
            And a pony too, please.

      2. Like Danny says, that’s what copyrights are for and creators have always been protected from direct theft, duplication etc.

        Now, I am no patent expert at all, but it seems to me that patents are usually more about claiming sole rights to a “method,”for example claiming that you own the rights to the process of collecting payments through a web site using a server on the backend. That’s totally different than writing the code to perform such a task in a unique way and someone stealing that code. You are laying claim to an entire process.

        Over the past two years I’m sure we’ve all seen more patent descriptions than we care to since it’s such a huge topic. I always get a sense that they are intentionally broad, vague, and cover completely obvious, unavoidable actions or methods of operation. It has literally devolved to the point that many are the equivalent of patenting the acceptance of paper money for goods.

  12. I see Google buying them just so they don’t get sued. I really don’t see them using the patents they purchase to be used against others, just to protect themselves.

  13. Google is right, and they should try to abolish all software patents. Even Oracle agrees with that (before they started suing Google, that is):

    “Oracle Corporation opposes the patentability of software. The Company
    believes that existing copyright law and available trade secret protections,
    as opposed to patent law, are better suited to protecting computer software


  14. Maybe they could have been more careful and avoided certain legal issues, but the reality is that the patent system is broken. If it’s working as intended, then why is every major developer suing each other for infringement?

    It seems to be impossible to put out a mobile device today without either paying a license or infringing on someone’s rights. This one owns the patent on the idea of a mobile phone, that one owns the patent to control it by touching the screen, the other one owns the patent to remotely interact with content, etc, etc, etc. It’s insane that Microsoft makes more money off it’s patent licenses to Android than it does from selling its own phones.

    Furthermore, patent holders should be required to actually develop products based on their patents so that all of these patent trolls can’t just buy them up, sit on them, and milk them for money by suing those who are actually developing products and furthering the industry.

  15. This is how I see it. If it’s patents that have been created by that company, and Google is infringing on them…then yes. Google needs to pay.
    Apple litigating isn’t new. I don’t get why people are acting as if it is, lol. Apple’s patents (no matter how generic) are theirs, they created this, so companies do have to abide by them. That’s the law.

    No, if companies are buying patents JUST for the attacking capabilities, that’s where the line should be drawn. You shouldn’t be able to buy a patent or two then proceed to use them to attack, or even shield yourself, from obstructing the law. And yes, I know that would put Google in bad water also…but it would take away the biggest one in the bunch, Oracle.

    Simply put…if Google is wrong, the courts will see it as such. If not, the world will go on.

    And to clarify, a patent troll isn’t one that actually uses the technology they are litigating for. Patent trolls are NPEs in my eyes. People who have these patents and sit on them waiting for someone to use it.

    1. While your attitude is spot on, the reality is that I disagree because the people making the judicial decisions don’t have the technical savvy to give a good legal decision.

  16. You know what all these patents do is hurt the consumer and any company that tries to hurt the consumer is a bad company in my book…So apple microsoft your in the wrong here and if you wanted people to switch from android to ios or windows this is not the way…The only thing this will do is make sure people will not use your product

  17. Truely innovative patents need protecting. Not all (software) patents are ‘wrong’. But many are wrong. Most of them won’t hold up to scrutiny. The patent office just lets the courts fight out what patent really is a valid patent and which ones aren’t.

    Most of these baseless patents are nothing more than bullets in the war-chest of an arm’s race that is fought out in the courts and the only ones getting rich are the lawyers.

    It’ll cost the consumers (costs of litigation/acquisition of patents must be paid somehow) and it’ll stifle innovation (small companies think twice before bringing something new to the market if they’ll get their asses sued off because of some baseless patent).

  18. You know, it’s funny this was posted today. Last night I went over to Mac Rumors to take a look at what the other side had to say. I initially went over there to see if the iphone has any problems or if it’s as perfect as everyone says. I digress. Comparing comments from this blog to the comments over at Mac Rumors is night and day. Most people here have intelligent long responses about the matter while over at Mac Rumors it’s the opposite. Most of them call Google a whiny baby because they lost the patents from Nortel. I like to be objective when it comes to this kind of fight. It’s interesting to read both sides.

    1. well that made me lol, because im coming over here to see what you guys have to say! i agree you guys are a whole lot less subjective than most of the people on mac rumors and such. But then again, they’re in a different position ;) a lot of the people on those comment pages are apple shareholders (as am I) and love the idea of google (and android manufacturers) paying up hefty fees for patent infringement. I love android as a competitor because it forces apple to make better products.

      1. It’s nice to see one of you guys has a objective bone in their body. Although the same could be said about Android people

        1. i think you mean objective :P objectivity is when you are “not influenced by personal feelings or opinions in considering and representing facts.” – and being subjective lies in stark contrast. i like to think i’m as objective as i can be!

          in my opinion android phones have amazing hardware. a friend of mine has a galaxy S II. its super thin, huge screen, good battery life… everything. drool worthy.(not as good-looking and shiny as my iphone, mind you ;) ) and he customized his android os all to his liking, which was pretty cool too. but this guy is a software engineer… he’s a geek. he knows what he’s doing, unlike most people.
          even he missed his old iphone after a while! but hey, this is a subjective point of view. it doesnt mean much.

          1. i said objective, see look haha (i changed it). Thanks for pointing that out. you might want to substitute every subjective for a objective in my posts :) For me personally, I can deal with all the lil bugs in android for the simple fact that I can change anything I want about it. Rooting/installing a ROM isn’t too difficult. It’s like that recipe quote “if you can read the directions you can cook”. It’s basically the same. I didn’t know how to flash phones before I flashed my OG Droid a while back and now I know a lot more.

            I’m glad you have an objective point of view considering the two OS. It’s good not to be wrapped up in one company so much that someone is blinded by everything. Both iOS and Android fans are guilty of this.

          2. i personally prefer not having to change anything about my phone or OS or anything- it all works ultra smoothly the way it is. but tbh sometimes im jealous of the customizability… and jailbreaking my phone results in me losing my warranty :/
            but android and ios users dont need to worry really, in the end they’ll end up winning, because platform growth stems from them grinding nokia and RIM in the dust… the more competition the better the products, the happier the customers.
            these patents will result in there being no clear leader in the android market

    2. Don’t be so blind. There are just as many people posting iCrapple, StEVE JOBS IS THE DEVIL crap over here too.

      1. cool shoot me a link I wanna see it

  19. Its not just about software patents, its about how people interact with their technology. Multi-touch for example was a huge change in how people interacted with touchscreen devices. It wasn’t just tap box with stylus anymore. Someone worked very hard to invent that and that invention deserves to be protected. There are some things which should not be patentable. However, real innovation, game changing inventions are just that, whether they are software or hardware. Because really, the software exists to make the hardware usable, or more usable. If I come up with a new DSP algorithm that allows better voice recognition or better sound reproduction, that is essentially software, but its software that changes the way hardware works. Why should a person who has that great idea and works hard to make it into a real product not benefit from the same protection as anyone else who invents something.

    Google claims that others can’t keep up with their innovations so are suing. Yet if Google was really innovating they wouldn’t be running afoul of others’ patents. It seems like they’re just upset someone thought up and patented “their” innovation first. The complaining actually seems a bit childish to me, just work harder or hire brighter people to do a better job innovating.

    As a side note, I would add, that companies that just acquire patents but do not actually make any products and just sue to generate revenue should be banned from doing so. If you don’t make a product based on your patent you should have no standing to enforce that patent. That would cut down on a lot of the lawsuits.

  20. While I don’t think Google is entirely altruistic, I do agree with their stance (even if for different reasons). I am not a legal expert, but I think its wrong to just copy the code used for something (say, multitouch), but I don’t feel you should be able to patent the “idea” of multitouch. I think this is the difference between copyrights and patents, but I’m not sure.

  21. even though i voted that they should of carefully looked into everything before making android, i still feel that they need to fight back. but if they had looked into it a bit they wouldn’t be in all this trouble and they could of bought what patents they needed and probably could of bought the ones that they were denied now back then. and they would be a way harder force to stop now.

  22. This will happen when we allow companies to patient math and algorithms. Could you imagine if someone had a patent on adding integers?

  23. Google just got pwned by Microsoft. I love goog and their products, but they came into this without realizing Apple and MS and anyone caught in between have been protecting their products/innovation for a very long time.

  24. Anerican patent system’s shambolic. Truly.

  25. I believe Google is doing it right….Oracle sucks…..but about the sony and MS lawsuits…I think that samsung, htc etc need to step up their game….They should not hide behind Google and expect them to save them from copied hardware lawsuits…

    On the software side, I think android is doing it right!

    Then again, I do not know all the details, so maybe I am terribly wrong :D

  26. I am sick of vague patents that say nothing especially when dealing with software. Unless you have a viable working prototype then I do not think you should be able to patent anything. Another thing is that I am sick of this race to get the patent in to the patent office so you can sue everyone for the idea. I think Google needs to lawyer up and bust it out on going after Apple and MS for what they have done with the cloud and Bing.. It really is bs.. I am so sick of hearing this company is suing that one and this one is suing that one.. man it just is annoying..

  27. I review a lot of patents in my job and it amazes me what stupid obvious patents make it through the system. Finding and interpreting applicable patents is very difficult as they are intentionally vague so as to cover more territory. The ratio of ideas to patents is indefensibly high and it hurts innovation in all industries. Oddly enough, the true inventive ideas are as easy to design around as the troll fodder is difficult to penetrate.

  28. Wikipedia-“Patent troll is a pejorative term used for a person or company that enforces its patents against one or more alleged infringers in a manner considered (by the party using the term) unduly aggressive or opportunistic, often with no intention to manufacture or market the patented invention.” Therefore Apple and Microsoft are not trolls since they DO intend to manufacture or market the smartphone inventions.
    And on a side note I found a good article about the barriers to patent reform which would help stop (actual) patent trolls. 800 soul-less leeches, I mean lobbyists, are involved in patent reform, it’s gonna be an uphill battle…

  29. The second poll option, that google should have “been more careful,” might be missing Google’s underlying goal here. They seem very intent on using their clout to challenge the existing tech “system,” software patents included. In fact, it seems like they WANT the fight because they know it can be won if they play their cards very carefully.

    I would guess they have one or two smart people in their employ, and aren’t just making rash, ill conceived decisions. The tech blogs need to quit giving advice and pretending they are smarter than Google.

  30. I don’t really feel sorry for Google, mostly as I don’t think that anything their opposition can do will stop the emerging dominance of Android. I definitely don’t like what the group is doing, but mostly because its a bit dirty. Its the same reason we Canadians can’t really like Euro Football, too much diving and faking injuries. Our game is hockey, if you get hit, get back up, don’t pretend to be injured to get your competition out of the game.

    Yes copying is dirty but every company taking it to Google and Google itself have obviously copied others before, as they have all taken legal action before.

    Its sort of like, yeah all of them are a bit dusty but that group sort of just hopped into a big tank of crap.

    The real crime here is the patent system and the american legal system. Even though I don’t like it, I don’t particularly fault the group for taking the action that is available to them in the system.

  31. I believe that software patents should exist in some form (after all, being obvious in retrospect is NOT the same thing as being obvious or even trivial to develop), BUT I feel that the form in which they exist is completely broken and backwards. It should be like trademark – a company should be able to prove that they are developing a patent into a product, and the limit on the patent’s validity should be significantly dialed back, to years, not decades. The scope of what’s patentable should also be significantly reduced, and more things should be accepted as prior art (right now, published academic papers don’t count for some ridiculous reason that I’ve never seen explained properly; basically the only acceptable embodiments of prior art are other products on the market and other patents).

    I do think that some of what Google’s done to get around Oracle’s Java patents is a bit disingenuous at best, though, and deleterious to the platform as a whole in the long run. IMO, Dalvik should not exist. But IMO they shouldn’t have used Java to begin with (the various justifications I’ve seen used kind of fall apart to me in the face of how things have ended up playing out on Android anyway, both as a developer and as a user).

  32. In the Oracle case, text messages show Andy Rubin recommending Google license Java, and Surgey and Larry saying no. This is a problem created by Google’s leadership. It was a conscious choice to forgo licensing the IP.

    Personally, I hope they get slapped down by Apple, Microsoft, Oracle and every company whose IP they’ve stolen. Android’s success wasn’t earned. It was stolen. I feel bad for the customers and manufacturers they’ve harmed.

    MPEG/LA said recently that at least 12 companies claim Google’s WebM video codec violate their IP. Google is shooting itself in the foot.

  33. Software patents need to be eliminated. I don’t care what anybody is doing with software patents right now. I don’t care who is getting sued. I don’t care who owns them. I don’t care what you think you need to protect. They should not exist.

  34. Interesting comments to say the least. Bad news for ALL sides involved, HP/Palm (that is to say Palm before being bought by HP) have THE full patent for the smartphone.

    Of course they are too focused right now on getting the new Web OS products in the market. But make no mistake… If the day comes they get their heads around the idea that; “Hey we have the king of patents in are pocket,” as iPod creator & former Apple exec/current HP exec Jon Rubenstein has hinted; “Apple will be target number 1.”

    What will that mean for Google? Watch what happens to Apple if HP/Palm utilize that patent.

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