Google Pledges to Defend Partners Against Apple, Microsoft
November 9, 2011 4:00 PM
comment(s) - last by
Google believes that by combining powers with OEMs, it can keep Android safe, legally
Google Inc. (
) is the
smartphone operating system maker in terms of market share. But it and its partner OEMs are facing legal assaults from all angles. Some lawsuits are coming from the typical patent troll firms. Others come from competitors who want see Google's products banned [
] (e.g. Apple, Inc. (
)), and still others come from large companies looking for lucrative licensing deals [
] (e.g. Oracle Corp. (
) and Microsoft Corp. (
I. "If We Don't Hang Together... We Shall Hang Separately
Thus far only Oracle has
directly attack Google
alleged Android intellectual property infringements
. Microsoft and Apple have focused their attacks on the OEMs (although Apple is indirectly suing Google through its subsidiary Motorola Mobility).
Some have complained that Google is doing too little to protect its OEM partners. But on a Wednesday visit to Taipei, Taiwan, Google's Eric Schmidt promised to offer a greater legal defense to its partners. He
, "We tell our partners, including the ones here in Taiwan, we will support them. For example we have been supporting HTC in its dispute with Apple because we think that the Apple thing is not correct."
Google Chairman Eric Schmidt has enjoyed a whirlwind tour of Asia, consolidating his partners' legal might in a mutual defense of Android. [Source: EPA]
Mr. Schmidt's comment refers to a sale of intellectual property, which HTC Corp. (
purchased from Google at a dramatically discounted price
. HTC had very little intellectual property to countersue with when Apple first sued it in 2010. But thanks to the Google IP acquisition and the acquisition of graphics patents from recently
purchased chipmaker S3 Graphics
, HTC now has some legal fire power and is countersuing Apple.
The pledge of mutual defense is at least a little comforting to Android OEMs as it's the best case scenario for them to arise out of Google's
recent $12.5B USD acquisition of Motorola Mobility
. That acquisition
that Google might favor its own handsets over third-party devices. However, those fears do not appear to have been realized and it appears Google is primarily utilizing Motorola's IP for mutual defense as some had hoped.
Google has been outbid on several key patent acquisitions,
including the Nortel portfolio
, which was purchased by Microsoft, Apple, and others. But with the Motorola Mobility IP trove, it still has significant legal resources, even as it eyes more acquisitions.
II. Apple is Biggest Threat, But Microsoft Could Tempt OEMs to Stray
At present the biggest threat to OEMs is arguably Apple. Apple is seeking an outright ban on Android products from the platform's top three OEMs -- Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (
); HTC; and Motorola Mobility. Apple has
a burning hatred for Android
. Late CEO Steven P. Jobs called Android a "stolen" platform and pledged to spend his company's entire fortune to "destroy" Android, after the Google platform passed his company's in market share.
Microsoft offers a more subtle threat as the fees are stacking up and some Asian phonemakers like Samsung or HTC are reportedly considering upping Windows Phone production in response to the decreasing Android profit margins.
Rising Android costs has some OEMs like HTC contemplating mutiny -- upping Microsoft Windows Phone production and reducing production of Android handsets.
[Source: PocketPC Forums]
Comments Concord Securities analyst Ming Chi Kuo, "Android hardware companies and supply chain are mostly from Taiwan. The main purpose of Schmidt's trip for this time should be to gain more support and closer collaboration with the Taiwanese here. Taiwanese vendors have been users of Windows operating system in the past, especially the handset vendors, so Google has to come here to get more support for its applications in the tablets and, possibly, personal computers in the future."
Mr. Schmidt, Google's current Board Chairman and former Chief Executive, visited with Samsung and LG Electronics, Inc. (
) on Tuesday, looking to plan mutual strategy in terms of IP defense and drum up ongoing support for Android.
III. Making Friends in China
The Google executive also looked to garner support from handset makers in China, a crucial emerging market, where Google has
clashed with government regulators
in the past. Earlier in the week Mr. Schmidt visited China's capital city, Beijing.
On Wednesday he had supportive words of Google's commitment to China commenting that Google wanted "to serve China's citizens within the limits the government allowed."
Google's chairman also visited China, home to several key partners. [Source: VR Zone]
It's hard to say exactly what to take away from Mr. Schmidt's weekend in Asia or his big commitments to helping protect Asian Android OEMs. The proof of the company's true level of commitment -- and how much that intervention helps the partners -- will be seen in the court cases that are going to unfold in international markets over the next year.
At the very least, though, Google seems to be starting to get the correct perspective. After all you don't start a revolution without unity. In the words attributed to the Founding Father Benjamin Franklin, "If we don't hang together, by Heavens we shall hang separately."
The quote certainly sums up the legal plight of Google and its partners tidily.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: "a burning hatred for Android"
11/9/2011 8:16:00 PM
Personally if I have to accept a corporation as having the same rights as a person I'm going to believe they have emotions too.
I'll resist any Vulcan references.
"So, I think the same thing of the music industry. They can't say that they're losing money, you know what I'm saying. They just probably don't have the same surplus that they had." -- Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA
Google: Microsoft's a Sore Loser When it Comes to Patents
November 7, 2011, 12:57 PM
Oracle Receives Court Permission to Use Google's Email in Java Patent Case
October 21, 2011, 9:33 AM
Steve Jobs: "I'm Going to Destroy Android, Because It's a Stolen Product"
October 20, 2011, 10:45 PM
Apple Refuses to License Some Patents to Samsung, Samsung Fires Back
October 17, 2011, 12:28 PM
Android Gobbles RIM's Market Share, is on Nearly Half of U.S. Smartphones
October 6, 2011, 4:34 PM
Quick Note: Apple Watch to Get Brick and Mortar Boost From Best Buy
July 27, 2015, 3:00 PM
Can HTC Save Its "RE Grip" Smartband After Its Inexplicable Failure Launch?
July 17, 2015, 2:29 PM
Facebook's "Moneypenny" is Cross Platform Siri on Steroids
July 15, 2015, 3:59 PM
Apple Watch Sales Have Plummeted
July 8, 2015, 5:01 PM
Consumer Reports: Galaxy S6 and iPhone 6 Can't Keep Up w/ Galaxy S5
July 6, 2015, 4:57 PM
Apple iOS 8.4 Rolls Out w/ Fix to Crash-Causing Unicode Text
June 30, 2015, 3:24 PM
Most Popular Articles
Microsoft July 29 Windows 10 Launch: Freebies, Rollout, and What's Next
July 21, 2015, 2:40 PM
As iPad Sales Wane and Watch Flops, iPhone Saves Apple's Profit With Its Heroics
July 22, 2015, 6:13 PM
Editorial: Reddit Allows Itself to be Hijacked as a Hate Platform For Racist Bigots
July 21, 2015, 6:32 PM
Mozilla and Facebook to Adobe: It's Time to Kill Flash
July 20, 2015, 6:30 PM
Google Scores Bizarre Court Win as Disgruntled Android Users' Lawyers Ruin Case
July 16, 2015, 5:58 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2015 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information