Google: Software patents “gumming up” smartphone innovation

By on July 27, 2011
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Google vows to back Android manufacturers.

Name one mobile phone manufacturer that is not enrolled in a patent war. Go on. Nokia? Wrong. HTC? Wrong. Samsung? Lol.  Apple? These guys started it.

So when Google’s general counsel Kent Walker laments about the fact that software patents are “gumming up” innovation in devices, we have to but nod in agreement.

“The tech industry has a significant problem,” Walker said. “Software patents are kind of gumming up the works of innovation.”

Walker takes a dig at Apple, 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.”

“Each side can blow the other up on some level –everybody can block the other’s products from coming to market. You create this mutually assured destruction scenario, but it’s very expensive to get all those munitions. Buying patents so you can hit the other guy, it’s not good form. You hate to unilaterally disarm here, but we haven’t in our history.”

Walker said the search giant is fully dedicated to back its Android manufacturers from the clutches of the lawsuit filers.

“We’ll be fine,” he said. “We have the resources to balance the scales here.”


Mufaddal Fakhruddin is the Editor for IGN ME and thinks writing in third person about himself in an about me section is weird.

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