Google's Eric Schmidt: Apple, other competitors not innovative; they just sue

Former CEO and current Executive Chairman of Google Eric Schmidt has some harsh words for competitors who have been suing the company: you're not innovative, you just sue because of our successes.

Speaking at the Mobile Revolution Conference in Tokyo, the comment comes after the International Trade Commision's ruling that HTC infringed on two of Apple's patents. If upheld, HTC and other Android phone makers would be required to pay royalties to Apple. But if so, Apple would only be one of several companies targeting Google's Android system, a list that includes Oracle and Microsoft. HTC struck a patent licensing deal with Microsoft in 2010; details of their arrangement were made public this year.

"We have seen an explosion of Android devices entering the market and, because of our successes, competitors are responding with lawsuits as they cannot respond with innovations," Eric Schmidt said according to ZDNet. "I'm not too worried about this."

So much so that Schmidt stated they would back up HTC against Apple's lawsuit and was confident that they will win, despite all recent rulings and HTC's aforementioned patent deal with Microsoft. Schmidt declined to go into further detail about how Google would be helping HTC out during litigation. When asked if the company would provide financial help should HTC lose, he responded: "We will make sure they don't lose, then."

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I'm glad they're hitting Android OS. I have a Droid Eris. The phone is a piece of crap and the OS may look great but it's also a piece of crap in functionality.

sebazwin said,
I'm glad they're hitting Android OS. I have a Droid Eris. The phone is a piece of crap and the OS may look great but it's also a piece of crap in functionality.

+1

WP7 or back to iOS for me next year.

I'm not sure Google is a paragon of virtue on this issue but I agree with their sentiment. Any large company will almost certainly have some overlap on some obscure patent (likely one that should have never been granted in the first place) but to me it seems slightly desperate to try to leverage them against your competitors. And Apple has been one of the worst companies when it comes to petty lawsuits.

theyarecomingforyou said,
I'm not sure Google is a paragon of virtue on this issue but I agree with their sentiment. Any large company will almost certainly have some overlap on some obscure patent (likely one that should have never been granted in the first place) but to me it seems slightly desperate to try to leverage them against your competitors. And Apple has been one of the worst companies when it comes to petty lawsuits.

And there's the point, the patent system is so flawed that companies with enough money can rule it.

yes, apple must be desperate. Owing the 50% profits of the entire industry is killing them. Also being only the 3rd phone maker globally with only 2 products is killing them, so, they have to sue.

iguanas said,
yes, apple must be desperate. Owing the 50% profits of the entire industry is killing them. Also being only the 3rd phone maker globally with only 2 products is killing them, so, they have to sue.

Right, because having that market share is perpetual... please.

Osiris said,
what a ******, a true innovator would spend less time rubishing the competition and more time innovating...

Like Apple... oh, wait...

Steve Jobs at the Macworld 2007 introduction of the iPhone:

...and we have invented a new technology called multi-touch, which is phenomenal. It works like magic. You don't need a stylus. It's far more accurate than any touch display that's ever been shipped. It ignores unintended touches. It's super smart. You can do multi-finger gestures on it, and boy, have we patented it.

warwagon said,
Steve Jobs at the Macworld 2007 introduction of the iPhone:

...and we have invented a new technology called multi-touch, which is phenomenal. It works like magic. You don't need a stylus. It's far more accurate than any touch display that's ever been shipped. It ignores unintended touches. It's super smart. You can do multi-finger gestures on it, and boy, have we patented it.

Except multi-touch displays were around way before Apple used them, 1970s I believe.

neo158 said,

Except multi-touch displays were around way before Apple used them, 1970s I believe.


Sure but few used them or took advantage of the multitouch capabilities, specially in the cellphone market, or any part of the consumer market really. All phones with a touchscreen had resistive screens and came with a stylus and a horrible UI

warwagon said,
Steve Jobs at the Macworld 2007 introduction of the iPhone:

...and we have invented a new technology called multi-touch, which is phenomenal. It works like magic. You don't need a stylus. It's far more accurate than any touch display that's ever been shipped. It ignores unintended touches. It's super smart. You can do multi-finger gestures on it, and boy, have we patented it.

bull****. Apple didnt invent multitouch. They bought out the company that did. How innovative it is for Apple to buy a company and claim they invented something.

The company was called Fingerworks.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fingerworks

This just shows Job's arrogance and how big his ego is.

I wouldn't say they innovate well. I would say they have a behemoth of a marketing machine. There was nothing innovative about the iPod. There were tons of MP3 players before it. What they did was make it a fashion statement... a way of saying "I am cool and you can be cool too, but only if you buy one of these."

the difference is:
Apple does innovate and do it well. The iPhone and iOS were pretty innovative at first as they were one of the first to do it. However they lacked features, Google took the iOS UI model and stepped it up. They leapfrogged over Apple. Other companies use what Apple started and build off of it and make it better, then Apple gets mad

I have Android and despite it allowing you to add widgets, live wallpapers... there is no difference. Have they leapfrogged over Apple? Hell, I don't even use widgets or live wallpapers. I also had to root the phone to get rid of all the junk HTC put on the phone. The odd thing is when I had a 3G then the iPhone 4 I never needed to jailbreak as I felt I needed something extra.

Don't get me wrong, I think the HTC Desire is a well built phone (apart from the poor camera and speaker quality), its just a shame it runs Android!

Apple's new amazing feature for iOS 6: Widgets. iOS 6.3.4: Live Widgets. iOS 7.3.2: Live Wallpapers. I think Jobs needs to look a little further into the future before suing anyone or his platform won't be making any major leaps, UI and feature wise that is.

Billus said,
Apple's new amazing feature for iOS 6: Widgets. iOS 6.3.4: Live Widgets. iOS 7.3.2: Live Wallpapers. I think Jobs needs to look a little further into the future before suing anyone or his platform won't be making any major leaps, UI and feature wise that is.

Fun facts.
* When announcing the original iPhone Steve Jobs demonstrated two things ha called Widgets, the weather and stocks apps (yes different from Android Widgets but same name).
* In 2005 Apple introduced a feature to OS X called Dashboard, basically widgets. They weren't they first to do this (there was a mac app called Konfabulator, hat later became Yahoo Widgets, before that) but neither was Google with Android.

Oh, and have you see how Android looked before/around the time the original iPhone was introduced? Like a blackbarry basically.
http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/and...type-in-the-wild-334909.php

Copied from my reply from the forum topic ( http://www.neowin.net/forum/to...o-defend-htc-against-apple/ )
--

The difference is, generally when Apple copies a feature, they find the patent holder and back up a truck of cash, or enter into a patent sharing agreement like they have with MS ( Microsoft has access to use all of Apple's Patents, and Apple can use all of Microsoft's ).
Android manufactures/Google never did this. Google didn't have too since they aren't selling or making the phones themselves, fair enough, but the manufactures do. You can't just ignore patent laws because you don't like them or the company that has them. That's not the way it works.

And when Apple doesn't, they DO get sued.. They have lost those cases before.. It's not like Apple is the only company out there suing the others.. The difference is Apple is the only company out there where Every time they sue another company it leads to 15 front page stories.

If every time you broke a law, like speeding (just over the limit), not coming to a complete stop, jwalking, etc., people would think you break the law all the time, but never know so does everyone else.

Ryoken said,
You can't just ignore patent laws because you don't like them or the company that has them. That's not the way it works.

And when Apple doesn't, they DO get sued.. They have lost those cases before.. It's not like Apple is the only company out there suing the others.. The difference is Apple is the only company out there where Every time they sue another company it leads to 15 front page stories.

This.

DukeEsquire said,
Please: learn the difference between patent infringement and "copying". Copying is not illegal. Patent infringement is.

Copying could lead to patent infringement though ;p but yes, quite different things

Shea J said,
google should sue apple from completely ripping off their notification bar.

Problem is they can't they have no patents for it. And how could they, the bar was done by Nokia and other phones before android, and the notification list is, well, you know, a list

Shea J said,
google should sue apple from completely ripping off their notification bar.

from what I see Google don't really believe in patent for most of their stuff.
What Schmidt is really how they see the best way to push technology.

The patent system is broken and thewy don't belive in it.

They have the same attitude for peoples hability. Code stay in the original company but skills follow the worker (see Paypal case).

Apple has been around for a while, and has invested quite a lot into mobile technology. It's no surprise that they have a lot of patents and have a lot invested in protecting those patents.

Google could protect their partners by just selling Android to them for $1. Then it would be Google's responsibility to make sure that they aren't infringing on patents instead of their partners having to worry about this.

I find it ironic that Apple goes to great lengths to sue all these Android manufacturers yet their newest mobile OS steals so much from Android (and other OS's). As Steve said himself, 2011 is the year of copycats, only to refer to themselves! Apple has now been playing catch up in terms of features for quite some time, even though you ios fanboys won't admit it.

tsupersonic said,
I find it ironic that Apple goes to great lengths to sue all these Android manufacturers yet their newest mobile OS steals so much from Android (and other OS's). As Steve said himself, 2011 is the year of copycats, only to refer to themselves! Apple has now been playing catch up in terms of features for quite some time, even though you ios fanboys won't admit it.

+1. Just give up Apple.

-1, coming from the horses' mouth whose mobile platform is plague with codes from other people and then calling it innovation. Innovating what? copying other people? android ui has iOS written all over it, down to the chrome.

LAMj said,
-1, coming from the horses' mouth whose mobile platform is plague with codes from other people and then calling it innovation. Innovating what? copying other people? android ui has iOS written all over it, down to the chrome.
Android UI has iOS written all over it? How so? Android UI has more features... homescreen - widgets, live wallpapers, etc. ios homescreen is pretty static, and there's nothing 'smart' about it.

LAMj said,
-1, coming from the horses' mouth whose mobile platform is plague with codes from other people and then calling it innovation. Innovating what? copying other people? android ui has iOS written all over it, down to the chrome.

I think I just walked over a bridge and could hear some mumbling ... what's this, a troll?

Anyways, iOS5 does copy from Android as well as BB (with iMessenger) - I don't see how Android has copied anything from Apple unless you consider having icons on a desktop "copying" then you would have to say iOS was copying from Windows, etc etc etc.

tsupersonic said,
I find it ironic that Apple goes to great lengths to sue all these Android manufacturers yet their newest mobile OS steals so much from Android (and other OS's). As Steve said himself, 2011 is the year of copycats, only to refer to themselves! Apple has now been playing catch up in terms of features for quite some time, even though you ios fanboys won't admit it.

Oh this again...
If I asked you to show come up with an interface to show a number or notifications (or other data) how would you do it? A list is the most logical choice, lists have been around for quite a while used to display and organize data, only reason Apple (or google) wasn't sued or had to pay a license for this is because no one has a patent for lists (which is in itself a bit odd ), and I doubt anyone ever will.

Apple, like any other company sue when another company infringe on their trademarks or patents, it's within their full right and it's their responsibility towards their shareholders.

Leonick said,

Oh this again...
If I asked you to show come up with an interface to show a number or notifications (or other data) how would you do it? A list is the most logical choice, lists have been around for quite a while used to display and organize data, only reason Apple (or google) wasn't sued or had to pay a license for this is because no one has a patent for lists (which is in itself a bit odd ), and I doubt anyone ever will.
If you believe that then you should feel the same about Apple's claims against Samsung.

If I asked you to show come up with an interface to launch programs how would you do it? A bunch of icons is the most logical choice, icons have been around for quite a while used to display and organize apps...

tsupersonic said,
I find it ironic that Apple goes to great lengths to sue all these Android manufacturers yet their newest mobile OS steals so much from Android (and other OS's). As Steve said himself, 2011 is the year of copycats, only to refer to themselves! Apple has now been playing catch up in terms of features for quite some time, even though you ios fanboys won't admit it.

I agree completely. Google totally designed Linux and Java themselves. 100% innovation there. They created Android from scratch they didn't just buy a company to acquire it.

</Sarcasm mode off>

user55 said,
If you believe that then you should feel the same about Apple's claims against Samsung.

If I asked you to show come up with an interface to launch programs how would you do it? A bunch of icons is the most logical choice, icons have been around for quite a while used to display and organize apps...


But that's not what that case is about. It's not because of them using icons.
It's because the designed their phones and tablets to be very similar to Apples, and no, they don't have to look like that, look at HTC and Acer, they both have made unique looking phones and tablets.
It's because they use icons that are very similar in the look to the ones on the iPhone.
It's because they decided that instead of using the normal android app drawer they would instead take their icons "heavily inspired" by iOS and put them in a launcher that use pages to display these icons, you know kind of like the iOS homescreen.
That's the problem, it's not just the same idea but almost the same execution too.

Look at the iOS 5 notification list again, I could understand Android fans or Google being angry if it looked and worked they exact same way, and although that might be the first impression it really doesn't. In android you have one list of notifications sorted by their time, you can tap one to open it's app and you can tap a button to clear them all.
Now look at the iOS one, the first you'll see is that it has a different color theme, not very important though so let's look at features. Here instead of just by time notifications are instead notifications are sorted by their App and then by time, you can tap a notification to open the app and you can remove individual notifications, there however doesn't seem to be a way to remove all notifications in the list.
You'll also see a lack of notifications icons in the statusbar, I think it's stupid of them but it is a way they work differently.
Do you see how they work differently? Do you see how they aren't quite the same?

If the iOS notification list is such a blatant copy then why is no one ever complaining about Palm stealing from android with it's WebOS, it too displays notifications in a list, a bit differently formatted but still, a list.
If we are going to point fingers Google stole the concept of widgets from OS X which has had the dashboard for quite a while (The could also have taken the name from iOS, Apple has always called the weather and stocks apps widgets)... I am not going blame Google for that though, it's the same concept, but it's not executed in quite the same way and the widgets themselves doesn't work or look the same, quite far from.
Samsungs phones on the other hand, they are easily mistaken for iPhones if you aren't a geek, I've mistaken them for iPhones a few times, sure from a distance but then I am a geek so...

tsupersonic said,
I find it ironic that Apple goes to great lengths to sue all these Android manufacturers yet their newest mobile OS steals so much from Android (and other OS's). As Steve said himself, 2011 is the year of copycats, only to refer to themselves! Apple has now been playing catch up in terms of features for quite some time, even though you ios fanboys won't admit it.


^^^^^^

THis !!

Leonick said,

Oh this again...
If I asked you to show come up with an interface to show a number or notifications (or other data) how would you do it? A list is the most logical choice, lists have been around for quite a while used to display and organize data, only reason Apple (or google) wasn't sued or had to pay a license for this is because no one has a patent for lists (which is in itself a bit odd ), and I doubt anyone ever will.

Apple, like any other company sue when another company infringe on their trademarks or patents, it's within their full right and it's their responsibility towards their shareholders.

This is plain fanboy talk. You're saying that because Android's implementation is the most logical, everyone should be free to copy. So then, Microsoft should be able to copy Expose without paying royalties because how else would you do it? -__-" Besides, the implementation is way more sophisticated than other vague things Apple is suing everyone else for. Apple is copying every tiny detail of the implementation, even dragging the bar down when there are so many other ways to do it.

Leonick said,

look at HTC and Acer, they both have made unique looking phones and tablets.

Even with HTC having unique-looking products, Apple is still suing HTC. The truth is, Apple is not suing people because they're copying them at all. Apple is suing people because it fears competition and this is its way of competing. It is even suing Samsung for the Nexus S, which does not copy Apple's design in any regard. Hell, the "clear surface" is not even "flat". (as generic as that attack is) The timing also shows Apple's real intent on suing. They're now losing grounds to Android really rapidly. HTC has been making similar products for a long time. Apple just chooses to sue HTC now because of the rising prominence. Same goes for Samsung.

Lexcyn said,

I think I just walked over a bridge and could hear some mumbling ... what's this, a troll?

Anyways, iOS5 does copy from Android as well as BB (with iMessenger) - I don't see how Android has copied anything from Apple unless you consider having icons on a desktop "copying" then you would have to say iOS was copying from Windows, etc etc etc.


You do realize iMessenger is more a copy on MSNM/WLM right? Cause it's actually cross platform, unlike BBM.

Poom said,

This is plain fanboy talk. You're saying that because Android's implementation is the most logical, everyone should be free to copy. So then, Microsoft should be able to copy Expose without paying royalties because how else would you do it? -__-" Besides, the implementation is way more sophisticated than other vague things Apple is suing everyone else for. Apple is copying every tiny detail of the implementation, even dragging the bar down when there are so many other ways to do it.


No, not at all, too bad you didn't see that long post of mine up there, would have explained my stance without me having to do it again.

Microsoft can copy exposé if they want, they just have to make sure to not implement it in the same way. Look at logitec, they have it built in to their software, no denying where they got that from and they havn't been sued.
Also, as I said, why is no one ever complaining about anyone else implementing a list for notifications (WebOS for example) after Android? Is it only wrong when Apple does it?

And yes, while the way to activate the list is the same (i think they did a mistake here, they had a perfect space above the "dock" in the multitasking screen) but I have already showed how the iOS list is not executed in the same way, there are differences.

Apple sue companies when someone infringes on their patents, like any other company.

Don't call someone out for fanboy talk when you are clearly a android fanboy and/or apple hater yourself. I do own an iPhone and an iPad, but I also have a good Windows PC, used windows all my life, and the next device on my shoppinglist is a 7" Android tablet just for the heck of it (the 7" has a purpose the iPad doesn't already fill and it means I don't have to run honeycomb which honestly is just a work in progress right now).

Phil_123 said,
Apple stole the concept of widgets from Konfabulator.

Developer calls Apple's Tiger a copycat
http://news.cnet.com/2100-1045_3-5250692.html

Hmm I could have sworn I mentioned that . Oh well.
But you see, the point still stands, people are calling out iOS for stealing for example the notification list but not others like WebOS, but Google "stealing" widgets, be it from OS X or Konfabulator (which is now yahoo widgets) is OK? How does that work?
Now, I'd say it's ok, for the same reason the notification list is ok, the implementation is not the same unlike samsungs devices that bare a striking resemblance to Apples devices which is why they get in trouble

Phil_123 said,
Apple stole the concept of widgets from Konfabulator.

Developer calls Apple's Tiger a copycat
http://news.cnet.com/2100-1045_3-5250692.html

And their concept came from a feature in Win98/Win95, called Active Desktop. And this concept came from probably someone else.

Putting 'live' gadgets on the desktop that could display local or internet based data did start with IE4/Win95/Win98 though.

However, all the Mac users called Vista/Win7's sidebar/gadgets a copy of OS X... Which is a bit funny since it existed even in Windows XP, and sidebar/gadgets in Vista was the replacement for Active Desktop.

Leonick said,

But that's not what that case is about. It's not because of them using icons.
It's because the designed their phones and tablets to be very similar to Apples, and no, they don't have to look like that, look at HTC and Acer, they both have made unique looking phones and tablets.
It's because they use icons that are very similar in the look to the ones on the iPhone.
It's because they decided that instead of using the normal android app drawer they would instead take their icons "heavily inspired" by iOS and put them in a launcher that use pages to display these icons, you know kind of like the iOS homescreen.
That's the problem, it's not just the same idea but almost the same execution too.

Look at the iOS 5 notification list again, I could understand Android fans or Google being angry if it looked and worked they exact same way, and although that might be the first impression it really doesn't. In android you have one list of notifications sorted by their time, you can tap one to open it's app and you can tap a button to clear them all.
Now look at the iOS one, the first you'll see is that it has a different color theme, not very important though so let's look at features. Here instead of just by time notifications are instead notifications are sorted by their App and then by time, you can tap a notification to open the app and you can remove individual notifications, there however doesn't seem to be a way to remove all notifications in the list.
You'll also see a lack of notifications icons in the statusbar, I think it's stupid of them but it is a way they work differently.
Do you see how they work differently? Do you see how they aren't quite the same?

If the iOS notification list is such a blatant copy then why is no one ever complaining about Palm stealing from android with it's WebOS, it too displays notifications in a list, a bit differently formatted but still, a list.
If we are going to point fingers Google stole the concept of widgets from OS X which has had the dashboard for quite a while (The could also have taken the name from iOS, Apple has always called the weather and stocks apps widgets)... I am not going blame Google for that though, it's the same concept, but it's not executed in quite the same way and the widgets themselves doesn't work or look the same, quite far from.
Samsungs phones on the other hand, they are easily mistaken for iPhones if you aren't a geek, I've mistaken them for iPhones a few times, sure from a distance but then I am a geek so...

Apple DOES have a right to sue. That doesn't mean they are correct, will win, or even that their patents are vaild.

There is a lot of prior art on the patents Apple is throwing at companies. Even the HTC complaint, the ITC only upheld 2 as relevant, and it isn't for them to decide if the patents are valid or not, that would go to the courts to get the patents voided.

What Apple is doing that makes it predatory and a bit evil, is they are trying to stretch the very definition of what patents cover, and use language from not the idea that is the basis of the patent, but for 'extra' details describing the idea. This is not how patents are designed to work, and by using the description language, if the 'description' is also the 'patent' it needs to have its own patent. Again, getting a patent for a flexible ball made from flubber, does not mean the patent holder owns the rights to all flexible balls, balls, or things that look like balls. And this is what Apple is trying to do.

Poom said,

Even with HTC having unique-looking products, Apple is still suing HTC. The truth is, Apple is not suing people because they're copying them at all. Apple is suing people because it fears competition and this is its way of competing. It is even suing Samsung for the Nexus S, which does not copy Apple's design in any regard. Hell, the "clear surface" is not even "flat". (as generic as that attack is) The timing also shows Apple's real intent on suing. They're now losing grounds to Android really rapidly. HTC has been making similar products for a long time. Apple just chooses to sue HTC now because of the rising prominence. Same goes for Samsung.

Well, now, I havnt looked at the HTC lawsuite, because quite frankly patent and legal issues doesn't interest me at all (tech do, no matter the manufacturer and HTC do have some fine phones, just saying ), I'm not sure what it's about but I know it's not about the look or design, i think it's something with the software but mostly something on the hardware side.
The samsung lawsuit is about how the devices are designed to look similar to Apple devices, now after having a close look at a Galaxy S II today I noticed they have even tried as good as they can to hide the menu and back buttons, the light up for one second when you press them, that's it, the rest of the time they are invisible. Seems like a nice device but it's design is awfully similar to that of the iPhone, the rest of the smartphones on the same row in the store nicely demonstrated it didn't need to be, there are a lot of different designs out there.