Google's Chavez says software patents don't help the market or consumer

Google's Chavez says software patents don't help the market or consumer
Right as one of the most epic software battles in history is winding down, Google's  public policy director Pablo Chavez told the Technology Policy Institute's conference being held in Mountain View that Google is fed up with all of the patent wars. The company's main complaint is that these patent battles are hurting the consumer. What makes this ironic is that late last week, Google's wholly owned Motorola Mobility subsidiary filed a complaint against Apple with the ITC. Motorola Mobility claims that Apple infringed on seven of its non FRAND, non Standards Essential patents and is seeking a U.S. import ban on the Apple iPhone and Apple iPad.

Google also made some similar comments during the recent Oracle vs. Google patent case won by Google. Victorious lawyer Kent Walker said that software patents are "gumming up the works of innovation." How can they hold back innovation? If a company is too scared of being sued, what will occur is a fear of pushing the envelope. But how can Google justify making these comments if it has Motorola Mobility doing its bidding with the ITC? If Google is serious about its concern that the consumer is the loser with all of these patent wars, why make them more miserable?

The only answer is that Apple has upset the top brass at Google so much that the Mountain View based search giant doesn't mind contradicting itself for a chance to get a U.S. ban on the Apple iPhone and the Apple iPad. Revenge is a powerful emotion and it looks like Google would love to get payback on Apple for its role in temporarily banning the HTC One X and HTC Evo 4G LTE from the U.S. earlier this year.source: CNET via AndroidCentral



1. No_Nonsense unregistered

And certainly not when they are a patented rectangle

2. denied911

Posts: 361; Member since: May 31, 2012

It's not ironic moto is just defending against this fruity man company

34. anywherehome

Posts: 971; Member since: Dec 13, 2011

exactly! do not lie, is not "ironic" it's just a defense against rotten Apple ;) so do not mislead readers, no dear author!

3. aikonix

Posts: 60; Member since: Apr 08, 2012

its just that google knows and does what the consumers want. Apple does what apple wants. Oh and by the way, you were holding that wrong and now you are texting it wrong! =) no offense

4. XPERIA-KNIGHT unregistered

Things are on the horizon! and not good things........for apple that is.

6. smartphone

Posts: 160; Member since: Oct 21, 2011

Patents of silly things aside like rectangle or black colour software patents are necessary. The question in not 'how a company innovate' but 'why a company will innovate' if others will be using it the next day. Google is great at improving others ideas. They hardly invent something new that's why android manufacturers had to pay royalties to M$.

16. phitch

Posts: 214; Member since: Mar 06, 2012

Name one thing that Apple invented, I can wait all day.

21. lubba

Posts: 1313; Member since: Jan 17, 2011

Apple invented the iPhone that Google copied. Only difference, open source.

51. gwuhua1984

Posts: 1237; Member since: Mar 06, 2012

Um... taking a shape that's already been around for years and adding an OS to it really isn't much of an invention. Apparently you're not too updated on facts, Google had several prototypes in store before the release of iPhone. One of them was a rectangular device with a large touchscreen. So like I said... No one copied anything, just someone release it to the public first.

26. smartphone

Posts: 160; Member since: Oct 21, 2011

I am not an Apple fan, but google also never invented something big even android was bought. Google had always taken others ideas and improved which is not a bad thing at all. But to say software patents are useless is foolish. Nobody likes their work to be stolen.

27. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

The concept of patents was originally to make sure that the originator of an invention was able to actually benefit from his creation. However, patent bulls**t goes all the way back to the turn of the last century. Patent abuse is old news; Apple is simply the latest entity to get really trigger happy with it.

28. TylerGrunter

Posts: 1544; Member since: Feb 16, 2012

The "work" for software is already covered by copyright. People can copy ideas when they are implemented in software, what they can't do is to copy the exact same code. Patents should be used to protect the investement of a company in innovation only where there was actually a big investment. How much do you think is needed to invest to create patents like "slide to unlock" or "one click purchase"? Very little, so software patents should not be allowed. There are many countries where software patents are invalid and you can't use them in court.

36. smartphone

Posts: 160; Member since: Oct 21, 2011

I agree there should not be silly patents. But software patents are as important as hardware patents and you can't copy looks and same GUI. These patents not only cover mobile software they includes productivity tools, video games, robotics, embedded electronics etc. Apple vs Samsung is making these ridiculous. both can improve Apple should be less bullying and Samsung with better design of phone and UI.

41. TylerGrunter

Posts: 1544; Member since: Feb 16, 2012

GUIs can be covered by desing and images copyrights, there is absolutely no need for patents there. With the copyrights is enough. As for productivity tools, robotics and embedded electronics: they are (normally) not software patents, as they normally include hardware and they are more specific that the silly patents Apple has. As joey said in next comment the EU does not have software patents, and therefore this kind of silly games are avoided.

35. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

The european union thinks that software patent is foolish and has abolished it. Software are expression of mathematic, procedural routines. To patent it is like to patent the english language and expression. Its stupid, and will hinger progress of the human civilisation.

7. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2449; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

I'm glad Google is one of the major companies stepping up for patent reform because we really need it. Ever wonder why prescription drugs are so expensive for people who have cancer or M.S. or even heart conditions? It's because of patents. A person files a patent and then one drug company pays millions of dollars to buy that patent and use it to be the only company making that certain drug at which it could market it for whatever price it deems fit. It then takes years upon years until the patent expires and then generic drugs are then created. The same goes for this. All of these tech companies file patents that they say "protects their intellectual property" but in reality it also makes them a lot of money and drives away competition. Competition is what allowed the tablet market to go from the $500 and up range to now having companies create tablets in the $200 range (not to say there weren't $200 tablets before, but not any you would consider "premium" or having good hardware). Competition is what has allowed Qualcomm, Samsung, and nVidia to strive to create the best chipsets. The truth of the matter is we have to have real patent reform. I understand people want to protect their intellectual property, but at some point by protecting that intellectual property we are also driving away competition. I think the author put it best when he said: "If a company is too scared of being sued, what will occur is a fear of pushing the envelope."

37. denied911

Posts: 361; Member since: May 31, 2012

drugs patent expires in 25 years or 20 and not the drug is patented but way it is synthesized you can make the same drug but in another way chemically speaking there is need for reform but if drug company will not have patent and possibility to earn maney for next very expensive research, then in couple of years there will be no new drugs we need little common sense in patents, looking at apple vs sammy or others

52. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2449; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

The drug compound is indeed patented. Usually drug companies will also patent the enantiomers as well to prevent the competiton from using those as well. Also, to say that drug companies need patents for research is misleading. The only reason they need that patented money for research is because we have set up the system to be based on that. So, the question then becomes: how would drug companies get the money they need to do drug research without using exclusive drugs? The answer is by selling better quality drugs and trying to stay above the competition. The truth of the matter is if we were to set the drug market up as a free market, we would have more research being done and better quality drugs because each pharmaceutical company would invest in R&D and trying different ways to steal competition away from other companies.

53. denied911

Posts: 361; Member since: May 31, 2012

my mother is pharmacist in europe and believe me there is many companies that after drug patent expires, start making their version, some drugs have like 50 or more producers and it is impossible to have the best quality, sometimes they give rabats or presents just to sell theirs and no competition

9. kingpet13

Posts: 139; Member since: Feb 02, 2012

I will stand by my statement from a few posts ago. Moto offered a way to follow the normal way most patents work, and have apple pay a liscensing fee, apple refused to pay this fee. Now google will have to ban them. Offering a liscensing fee allows innovation to continue, as most of these companies can afford it, and justifies the patent. When offered an easier way to justify patents, apple has refused to pay. (its not like they can't afford it). What other option does google have but to ask for a ban, if not just to get apple to accept liscensing fees instead of requesting for devices to be banned. It happens with apples requests to, when samsung offered them money, apple refused to take the money and continued to try to ban samsung's products. I think the goverment should just ban everyone from banning phones, and simply offer reasonable fees instead. If a company has violated enough patents that they cannot afford a reasonable fee, then that product can be reasonably removed to avoid paying any more fees. This way all patents can be justified and all consumers satisfied. (i said reasonable fees not .000000000000000001 cents per samsung patent infringed, and 1,000,000,000 for apples patents) and of couse the patents must make sense to.

10. OSFantasma

Posts: 119; Member since: Sep 27, 2011

its more likely that google is letting moto run it self in that department just to give apple a taste of its own medicine. I hope I'm not wrong, though almost sure that they are going to let moto try to ban apple products because they know itc will either ban untill agreement is made. The more likely path will be to stop apple from harassing the rest the world manufactures google works with. Mr. Chavez says patent wars hurt the consumer they should be well aware of what they are doing with Motorola. also i doubt that even if Moto Wins they will ban apple products. I do however feel this needs to be do to also show Apple that there are true patents held by big companies... MotoNexus that would be awesome....

12. Jphones

Posts: 258; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

they rather put the fire out but at the same time are not gonna get burned.googles right stop suing and start doing real simple logic

13. JunkCreek

Posts: 407; Member since: Jul 13, 2012

@Jphones why dun u say it to Apple at the very first time?

14. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Alan, come on. You know as well as I do that the main idea here with the Motorola suit is to gain leverage to get Apple to back the hell off of Android and leave them alone. I'm sure that if they gain the right to an injunction they will only resort to it if Apple keeps being the anti competitive bitches they are. I mean, it's a simple concept. How could you miss it so badly?

15. mercorp

Posts: 1045; Member since: Jan 28, 2012

they Actually DO help,but` only if they are used correctly,and not to patent troll.

18. wendygarett unregistered

I have to agree Google this time Tech is for sharing not sue-ing Apple should know that..

22. lubba

Posts: 1313; Member since: Jan 17, 2011

I'd share my apple but what if I don't want to? Well, I'll get mugged, beat up, or my Apple will just simply be stolen.

24. frydaexiii

Posts: 1476; Member since: Dec 01, 2011

Yeah, if they did, iPhoto & all the other bloatware that Apple promotes as "useful apps" would have found it's way to Windows years ago. Then again, not like any of that crap is any comparison to their Windows counterparts, but still, it's the thought that counts. Apple has continued time and time again by taking from the community with out giving anything back. "Oh, it's definitely ok for people to run Windows on Mac, but no way is OSX running on any PC legally." (Not like anyone would want a OSX Pc but again, the thought that counts. And Mac sales wouldn't have been so good if it couldn't run Windows.) "Yes Adobe, you make sure you make your premium suite available for OSX and make it work well. What? iPhoto and FinalCut Pro for Windows? No No, you'll have to buy a Mac in order to use it."

39. pankajgupta

Posts: 59; Member since: Aug 09, 2012

But Apple still wanted MS Office for Mac. One of the reasons Mac sales are good. (I said one of the reasons and not the only reason. :) ) One could argue that MS made office of Mac for their sales of Office.. but the same could be said about iPhoto and other Apple SW.

19. rudlie

Posts: 205; Member since: Mar 13, 2012

a desperate statement from a big company. Only a thief said that. I still don't believe a top IT company doesn't concern on software patent. Wozniak ever said, the software patents are not for restricted competitors or something but it can push a better competition by increasing innovation and invented something new. it is truly not hurt user in my opinion, but as a user I've got a lot of something new, fresh and innovatives tech/idea on the recent years because patents war. do you agree?

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.