Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Google tells Android device makers: We’ll help you fight lawsuits

Google will continue to assist companies using its Android operating system if they are involved in legal disputes over technologies used within the platform, executive chairman Eric Schmidt told reporters during the final day of his visit to Taiwan, Reuters reports.

Schmidt’s tour has seen the Google executive try to cement relations with the Taiwanese government, pledging support to web companies in the region and also try to improve its relationship with China.

The Google chairman told reporters:
“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.”
Support includes access to patents for licensing and legal purposes, as it did for the world’s fifth biggest smartphone manufacturer HTC.

Google ‘transferred’ patents to the Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer on September 1st, helping the company bolster its patent defence against Apple. The nine patents named in the suit originated in a collection of different mobile tech companies including Palm, Motorola and Openwave with Google taking ownership of the patents within the past year.

HTC immediately sued Apple using four of the patents it had been gifted.

Industry insiders believe Schmidt has used his three-day tour of Taiwan to increase confidence in the Android platform, particularly as Taiwanese smartphone makers begin to roll out new handsets running Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform. Schmidt reiterated that Google would not mistreat its Android partners by focusing its Motorola acquisition, keeping the platform open for all that wished to use it to power their smartphones.

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