John Lagerling, director of Android global partnerships at Google, said the company can work with its partners to protect the values of Android and fend off patent lawsuits.
Lagerling, speaking at a Pacific Crest investment conference, addressed the patent issue on a day where the topic was front and center. Google last week blasted Apple and Microsoft for leading a consortium that won Nortel’s mobile patent portfolio. Tech insiders have been going back and forth about Google’s response ever since. Meanwhile, Google’s court sparring over Android with Oracle looks like it may be backfiring a bit.
Here’s what Lagerling said:
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Without going into too much detail, I do think that we have very strong paths that we can take to protect the values of Android that we have built through the open-source Apache 2 license with our partners. Obviously, Google doesn’t build — we don’t build phones and devices, but we had a vested interest in protecting the values of the Android ecosystem.The big question is how Google will be able to protect those Android values and what tools the company has at its disposal.
So when our partners are being attacked by aggressors, which we see as materially unfounded, it’s something that we join up together with our partners to resolve. And we have, I think, several options that we can take that will help protect the values of Android.
So again, we want to protect innovation. Patents were supposed to be there to enable innovation and monetization of innovation. When it’s being used in a prospective which is more to, as we see it, stifle innovation, it’s not something that is good for consumers.
Android is the only operating system, modern smart-phone operating system, that exists on devices that cost $200 or less. That is what is enabling the next billion of users of the Internet on mobile in the world. There might be players that are not so excited to see the margins and the prices go down like that and the variety that Android enables, but I think we are very convinced that we will be able to continue and create and protect the value of Android.
By Larry Dignan