Apple's choice not to sue Google directly 'extremely curious,' says Schmidt

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, former Google CEO and current Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt talked briefly about how his company is slowly drifting away from Apple, and commented that existing litigation is likely to continue "for a while."

Although just a small portion of a larger discussion ranging from a possible antitrust lawsuit to Google's future in telecommunications, Schmidt's thoughts on Apple offered a glimpse into the two companies' souring alliance.

Speaking directly to how things have changed between Apple and Google over the past year, Schmidt alluded that the relationship ran hot and cold.

"Obviously, we would have preferred them to use our maps," the Google exec said of Apple's choice to replace the longstanding Google Maps-powered iOS app for a proprietary solution in iOS 6. "They threw YouTube off the home screen [of iOS devices]. I'm not quite sure why they did that."

In response, the internet search giant released a standalone YouTube app, which was just today updated with native iPad and iPhone 5 support, and is rumored to be working on a similar offering for its mapping service.

Schmidt Talking
Google Chairman Eric Schmidt talking to AllThingsD in October. | Source: AllThingsD


Schmidt noted that the press shoulders some of the blame for painting a picture of two warring corporations, an illustration that is apparently false. He believes both Apple CEO Tim Cook and Google CEO Larry Page must run their respective companies like "adults," and are doing so as talks continue despite ongoing legal disputes.

As for a possible patent settlement, Schmidt was cagey and wouldn't say what Google had planned in the way of upcoming litigation.

"Apple and Google are well aware of the legal strategies of each other," he said. "Part of the conversations that are going on all the time is to talk about them. It's extremely curious that Apple has chosen to sue Google's partners and not Google itself."

Schmidt sees the active and pending suits continuing "for a while" as both Apple and Google are on relatively stable financial footing. However, he pointed out that the court struggle is more likely to have a negative impact on small start-ups, not huge established businesses.

"There's a young [Android and Danger co-founder] Andy Rubin trying to form a new version of Danger," Schmidt explained. "How is he or she going to be able to get the patent coverage necessary to offer version one of their product? That's the real consequence of this."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 136
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    [quote name="AppleInsider" url="/t/154785/apples-choice-not-to-sue-google-directly-extremely-curious-says-schmidt#post_2241386"]"They threw YouTube off the home screen [of iOS devices]. I'm not quite sure why they did that."[/QUOTE]

    It's just not needed anymore. When the iPhone was released it wasn't possible to play YouTube videos on a browser without the Flash plugin. That's why the YT app was a necessity. Because of Apple paving the way for more efficient and native delivery methods you can play all the videos in the browser and get a nice mobile version of YT designed for modern smartphones. If you really loved the app (I certainly didn't) that is now an option for you just a few months after iOS 6 launched.
  • Reply 2 of 136
    They don't sue directly so they can starve them out. It's basically like laying siege to a castle. (1) Cut off their partners and (2) for the partners into licensing agreements and/or win small battles against them so precedence is set for larger and large cases.
  • Reply 3 of 136


    I have yet to see any evidence of such a strategy actually benefiting Apple. The only substantial victory has come against Samsung for $1 billion, but that amount is so small compared to their revenues that it's a slap on the wrist. Patent litigation has become more of a nuisance for Apple than anything else.

  • Reply 4 of 136


    "Curious"? How about welcome, or pleasant, or intelligent, or level headed?

  • Reply 5 of 136
    [quote]"It's extremely curious that Apple has chosen to sue Google's partners and not Google itself."[/quote]

    Looking from Oracle experience, Apple don't want to argue with $0 loss because Android is open source argument. Suing Android partners like Microsoft do is much more profitable.
  • Reply 6 of 136
    dunksdunks Posts: 1,254member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



     It's extremely curious that Apple has chosen to sue Google's partners and not Google itself."

     


     


    An admission of guilt much?

  • Reply 7 of 136
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,217member
    "It's extremely curious that Apple has chosen to sue Google's partners and not Google itself."

    Is not that curious at all. It's a known fact that OEMs can change Android, especially the UI features. So the first thought regarding infringements is that the OEM added whatever. Not to mention that its the OEMs making the money. Go for them first and then when everyone is either licensing or avoiding said items, go for the guy in charge if he hasn't gotten a clue
  • Reply 8 of 136
    steven n.steven n. Posts: 1,214member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by dagamer34 View Post


    I have yet to see any evidence of such a strategy actually benefiting Apple. The only substantial victory has come against Samsung for $1 billion, but that amount is so small compared to their revenues that it's a slap on the wrist. Patent litigation has become more of a nuisance for Apple than anything else.



    HTC.

  • Reply 9 of 136
    hmmhmm Posts: 3,405member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by drewyboy View Post



    They don't sue directly so they can starve them out. It's basically like laying siege to a castle. (1) Cut off their partners and (2) for the partners into licensing agreements and/or win small battles against them so precedence is set for larger and large cases.




    Is this more armchair patent lawyer commentary? It seems like it.

  • Reply 10 of 136
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,217member
    dagamer34 wrote: »
    I have yet to see any evidence of such a strategy actually benefiting Apple. The only substantial victory has come against Samsung for $1 billion, but that amount is so small compared to their revenues that it's a slap on the wrist. Patent litigation has become more of a nuisance for Apple than anything else.

    You assume they are in this for the money rather than the principle of the matter
  • Reply 11 of 136


    It's smart, not "curious". This is a war of attrition. Apple will continue to win here and there, setting precedent and making Android toxic for phone manufacturers.

  • Reply 12 of 136
    What is the admission of guilt? I believe that is what Eric would prefer you to assume.

    It is really just a good legal strategy. It is always easier and safer to try to win small victories. If you find out you made a mistake or if you didn't know all the facts you have not boxed yourself in.

    It is an admission that the legal system surrounding patents has a large element of luck involved. You will never know who is going to wind up on the jury to decide who owes whom a few billion $. That is realism, not an admission of guilt.
  • Reply 13 of 136
    timbittimbit Posts: 331member
    fuwafuwa wrote: »
    Looking from Oracle experience, Apple don't want to argue with $0 loss because Android is open source argument. Suing Android partners like Microsoft do is much more profitable.

    Exactly. Google is making royalties off of the other companies who are using their android product. Striking at those companies will leave Google without any Android suppliers. I think Google should go back to their search engine. They made a really good one, but should leave it at that
  • Reply 14 of 136
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    dagamer34 wrote: »
    I have yet to see any evidence of such a strategy actually benefiting Apple. The only substantial victory has come against Samsung for $1 billion, but that amount is so small compared to their revenues that it's a slap on the wrist. Patent litigation has become more of a nuisance for Apple than anything else.

    The implication of your post, whether intended or not, is that Apple shouldn't try to protect its IP from thieves. Imagine how worse it would be if Apple hadn't protected any of its iP.
  • Reply 15 of 136


    Apple would seek damages from Android profit. Google does not make enough from Android to make it worthwhile.

  • Reply 16 of 136
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,436moderator
    "There's a young [Android and Danger co-founder] Andy Rubin trying to form a new version of Danger," Schmidt explained. "How is he or she going to be able to get the patent coverage necessary to offer version one of their product?"

    The same way Andy Rubin did: Steal other people's ideas and go work for a big company which makes the bulk of its revenue elsewhere so it can give the ideas away for free, while buying up other companies' IP to use for litigation. Or is he talking about people who are ethical? Those are the people being stolen from.
    charlituna wrote:
    Is not that curious at all. It's a known fact that OEMs can change Android, especially the UI features. So the first thought regarding infringements is that the OEM added whatever. Not to mention that its the OEMs making the money.

    Yeah that's how I see it. Cutting Android off at the source would have far reaching consequences as it would mean massive fragmentation as each vendor tried to improve the OS independently but it could still survive.

    Apple's case is also stronger when they tackle a complete hardware/software implementation.

    There's also no retaliation for Apple using things that showed up in Android first because the phone manufacturers didn't make the OS.

    It doesn't seem like Apple wants to destroy Android either, just chop it back down to what it was born to be - a Blackberry rip-off, instead of an iOS rip-off.
  • Reply 17 of 136


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    "Apple and Google are well aware of the legal strategies of each other," he said. "Part of the conversations that are going on all the time is to talk about them. It's extremely curious that Apple has chosen to sue Google's partners and not Google itself."

     


     


    Isn't the first part in conflict with the last part? If you're well aware of someones strategy, then why would you be curious they didn't use a different one.


     


     



    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    However, he pointed out that the court struggle is more likely to have a negative impact on small start-ups, not huge established businesses.

    "There's a young [Android and Danger co-founder] Andy Rubin trying to form a new version of Danger," Schmidt explained. "How is he or she going to be able to get the patent coverage necessary to offer version one of their product? That's the real consequence of this."


     



     


    Life was so much easier when you didn't have the "consequence" of getting sued for using someone else's vision, time, investment, risk, imagination, creativity, research, knowledge, problem solving, work, solution, design, technology, etc without paying for it.


     


    They could always re-develop the same functionality from the ground up and see how that compares to the cost of a licensing agreement. 


     


     

  • Reply 18 of 136
    hmmhmm Posts: 3,405member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post





    The same way Andy Rubin did: Steal other people's ideas and go work for a big company which makes the bulk of its revenue elsewhere so it can give the ideas away for free, while buying up other companies' IP to use for litigation. Or is he talking about people who are ethical? Those are the people being stolen from.

     


    Are you referring to pre-Google Andy Rubin with Danger/Android?

  • Reply 19 of 136


    When I switched to OSX from Windows I used to come here for information and intelligent discourse, then I started coming for laughs because some of your comments were just hilarious and now I rarely come because a lot of the comments are just downright pathetic!

  • Reply 20 of 136

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by charlituna View Post





    Is not that curious at all. It's a known fact that OEMs can change Android, especially the UI features. So the first thought regarding infringements is that the OEM added whatever. Not to mention that its the OEMs making the money. Go for them first and then when everyone is either licensing or avoiding said items, go for the guy in charge if he hasn't gotten a clue


     


    This.


     


    Let's say Apple did sue Google and won. What would they get in terms of $$$ since Google gives away Android? And let's say Apple did get an injunction barring any device running Android. How would it be enforced? If Apple tried to block Samsung devices (for example), Samsung would simply respond that their version of Android has been modified. It would be too much work to expect officials to be able to inspect Samsung devices to properly determine if they infringe. Meaning there would likely be another court case just to deal with Samsung's "version" of Android.


     


    Since Apple would end up going through a court case a second time with each of the OEM's, then why not just sue the OEM's in the first place?

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