Eric Schmidt: Google wants innovation, not litigation – but we all already knew that
Google Chairman Eric Schmidt said a few interesting things the other day at South Korea’s event for the official launch on the Nexus 7. As we would expect, during his time in Seoul, Korea he will be visiting certain Samsung (and other) representatives to discuss a broad range of topics. However, Schmidt made it clear that with Samsung there is “much to discuss.” But it’s not like we didn’t know that already.
Schmidt is obviously quite annoyed by the ‘patent mess’ that the world is currently in.
Literally patent wars prevent choice, prevent innovation and I think that is very bad. We are obviously working through that and trying to make sure we stay on the right side of these issues. So ultimately Google stands for innovation as opposed to patent wars.
When asked if Google will be supporting vendors in the patent battles, Schmidt had this to say:
All I want to say publicly [is that] we fully intend to support the ecosystem as it evolves. The Android ecosystem is really central, in my view, to the successful moving forward of the market.
So, it looks like Google will continue to support Android and it’s development – shock horror, wow. We had all expected/known that Google will obviously continue to develop and support Android, but at least it is good to hear from Schmidt himself that the support is still strong and there is no evidence of quietly moving to another option to avoid issues with Apple.
In an editorial that I wrote a few weeks ago I mentioned that Google is really interested in having OEMs direct the future of Android. When speaking with the Google Australia representative that I based that piece on, it was quite clear that Google is not only giving Android away for free, but is letting the world dictate its future for free. OEMs have free rain to change what they want and users are able to customize their phones, develop their own OS (CyanogenMod for example) and create their own apps. After all, it’s all of our Android to take care of.
It looks like Google is very interested in protecting that aspect of the ecosystem and preventing Apple and other companies from hindering the potential innovation. With Samsung set to pay off over $1 billion in damages to Apple, it looks like Google will need to get off their bike and start protecting. Is there some kind of cross-licensing agreement that could be met between Google and Apple for Android and iOS to coexist? Or, will Google have to seek out alternative forms of protection for the on going development of the great OS that is Android?
I, for one, hope that cross-licensing is a possibility. If OEMs get forced into a state of fear of being sued then there is no hope of innovation, but rather a slow-moving development of mobiles.