Shared publicly  - 
Come on, Google, don't abuse the patent system the way Apple does. Sheesh. 
James Karaganis's profile photoDavid Sobotta's profile photoCarl Miller's profile photoJay Carlson's profile photo
It's to get leverage. In game theory, Tit-for-Tat wins over always cooperating.
It'd never stick. Guess they're aiming for the stars and hoping to hit the moon.
As I predicted a while back, welcome to the world of patent mutally assured destruction 
Simple karma. What goes around comes around, Apple.
+Dan Gillmor, what's the solution?  Just let Google take the Apple abuse?  Let Apple abuse everybody but don't let companies defend themselves?  WTF!  If that's the case, what position do you think this will put Apple down the line?  What position will this put Google and other companies down the line?
I'd call it an amusing counterpunch. To paraphrase Crocodile Dundee, "Call that a patent lawsuit? This is a patent lawsuit".
It's the Cold War all over again. Both sides will soon have enough nuclear patent power that no one will try to make a move.....or will they?
My hope is that Google has done a careful analysis and decided the only way to get patent reform is to use and abuse the current system until it breaks into a thousand pieces and forces real change.
+Graham Terris I think that is exactly it. It's also the kind of thing Page and Bring would do.

Put it this way: they bought Mobility for a reason.
+George Koklas, well maybe that's the way it should be.  Imagine not having weapons to defend yourself in a war.
+Michael Comia Fair question. I don't have a good answer. I keep remembering the old "two wrongs..." notion, however quaint that may be.
It's just corporate sabre rattling, but I like that Apple is on the receiving end for a change.
I'd also rather not see this behavior...  but at very least, each and every one of Motorola's alleged infringed patents in this suit seems miles more legit than Apple's "rectangle with rounded corners".

The "thermonuclear war" metaphor rings more and more true every day, though.  This sounds a lot like a "first strike" move.
I would love to see what happens if this comes true.  Do you think Apple would come to some sort of compromise, say like calling off all lawsuits for Android?
I hope that Google continues to fight for patent reform.

This looks at first blush to be hypocrisy from Google, but I agree with the many others who claim that this is unfortunately what they need to do in the current environment, especially now that Apple has shown that they can successfully go after Android and win, even with stupid patents.

I just hope that this leads to patent reform, and I still believe that Google (unlike Apple) still wants that outcome.
I believe the disagreement is over the licensing deal.  Apple feels Motorola wants too large of a percentage from each of their devices 
+Dan Gillmor +Michael Comia Andy Rubin spoke some time back of his vision for a landscape in which a 'patent truce' would prevail. It would seem that this is what they're going for here. Ugly as it may be, it does make sense to hit Apple (and MS?) back until they decide that it's best to just play nice.
+Michael Comia From what I'd read, that was part of Samsung's argument in the case they just lost to Apple.
The only way to stop Apple's abusive ways is to act like them and maybe force a compromise or... break the patent system beyond repair... I hate when Apple gets a pass and Google gets judged with some higher standard...

Google has been a very ethical company but it simply cannot sit idle by and let Apple run amok.
+Nicholas Rumas I was about to comment along the same lines.  I couldn't have said it better myself.  Until there is a patent reform in this screw up patent system +Google has got to play hard ball.  Without this play it puts Google and +Android at an extreme disadvantage.  So yes this make sense.
Personally, I'd like to see Google flex it's muscle, and prove that it can kick some cans around if it has to. Now, I wouldn't want Google to actually ban iPads, etc., just prove that it can if it wanted to. That might give Apple pause if it tries to do some crazy similar law suits. Oh, wait... Apple is doing something similarly crazy.

I admit, I'm an Apple fan. I'm also a linux fan. I'd like to see an kinder, gentler Apple. The main reason I'm running an Android phone and a Nexus tablet is because Apple has become such a corporate bully. (If I was an attorney I'd want to be working for who ever is representing Apple right now. Those guys have to be making bank!)
"Going thermonuclear", as Steve Jobs said, means the attempt of mutual destruction.  The goal Google has is hopefully to stop this nonsense, but in order to achieve it, they have to wipe the floor with Apple.  Apple won't stop it on their own, only if totally and completely defeated, they will give in.
+Michael Comia indeed, imagine how different things would be if none of them had weapons...

It all boils down to the need for patent reform .

But as things stand, Google has no option but to pull the leash on Apple.
What Google needs to have happen is for Apple to agree to cross-license everything: Google gets access to the Apple patents and Apple gets access to the Google patents. Apple has already succeeded in blocking some Android products; Google has to do likewise so Apple gets that there is no alternative other than to deal. I'm surprised that you don't get that, Dan; the only way Google can accept your request "don't abuse the patent system like Apple does" is to exit the smart phone and tablet markets.  Otherwise the courts will run them out of business.
+Dan Gillmor I think the important lesson, here, is that patents are bad for innovation. Google should defend themselves, obviously, but neither Apple nor Google should be given the tools to harm innovation in the first place.
Apple started it. How else should Google respond but to launch a counterattack before Apple strikes again? I hope that people will wake up to the stupidity of software patents when they see that their Macbook Pros are at risk. :)
+Aaron Sherman - There is nothing wrong with a good patent system to protect intellectual property, but there is everything wrong with a bad patent system to abuse and spoil the entire system and process.  This is why we simply need patent reformation.
PS: However, I'm all for non-trivial software patents. I just think that time-to-market has to be considered in patent duration. Software time-to-market is about 6 months. Car time-to-market is about 10 years. If software patents lasted 1 year, and were only granted for systemic, non-trivial, non-obvious software inventions that it was reasonable for a small business to research exhaustively, then I don't think anyone would care. Yes, you'd have to license the technologies developed in the past year by your competitors... or just wait a year. Your call. The computer hardware (including handsets) time to market is probably more like a year or two, so 2-4 years might be a reasonable computer hardware patent duration. Again, as long as it's about twice the time-to-market, I think that's fine.

The Apple/Google problem is that these patent warchests are comprised of every trivial little innovation or even just permutation over 20 years... there's literally no way to do that patent research going in to a new project, so how can you innovate? You basically need to stick to whatever everyone has already agreed is safe or whatever has already gone through court.
+Michael Comia Economists think different.  The protection of "IP" through monopolies is the root of evil, and that the system becomes worse over time is just the consequence of monopolies, which are alien to a free market economy.

Innovation thrives if there is no protection whatsoever.  Copying and improving is what drives innovation, having to be faster than the competition, since being first on the market is where the big profits are.
+Bernd Paysan What do you mean monopolies are alien to a free market economy? You just do product dumping and/or buy your competitors. The natural conclusion of something completely free market is monopolies.
It's not abuse but attempt to end it. Google doesn't want to stop these products, which people use to consume its services, from shipping. Google wants to bring an end to the patent war by putting reluctant Apple into a position where it must accept cross-licensing agreements. 
So, what should Google do if Apple is abusing the system to attack it? They don't even have the right to respond?
I certainly hope that this is Google trying to get Apple to back down.  What I'm afraid of, though, is that the existing big players in the market--Apple, Google, Microsoft, IBM, etc--get together and agree not to go after each other, or formally cross license everything to each other, but then stomp on anyone new entering the market.

Anti-competitive, sure, but who will have enough money to see a court case through to prove it?
"He pulls a knife; you pull a gun. He puts one of yours in the hospital; you put one of his in the morgue." That's the Cupertino Way. That's Apple's Way.
But is this the standard retaliation phase of Mutually Assured Destruction? Google may be interpreting the patent litigation against Samsung as the leading edge of an attack on Android as a whole--the Galaxy S III outsold the iPhone 4S briefly--and picking off foreign companies one by one is how to do that, Live by the sword, die by the sword.

(I am not a patent lawyer, but I found the Samsung verdict so odd the phrase "flag carrier" and the old days of "voluntary" import quotas came to mind. If there's anything like that in play behind the scenes, names like "Google" and "Motorola" might remind there are other American interests besides Apple. OTOH there was huge demand for the iPhone in the fortress South Korean phone market but Apple appeared to be locked out until relatively recently; the trade war talk cuts both ways with Samsung and Apple.)
Perhaps a defensive move.  Apple doesn't necessarily bring out the best in you.  I wrote Tim Cook and told him that I was writing a book about my 20 years at Apple.  The next week I got a threat from Apple lawyers which included every non-disclosure I had ever signed.
The ironic thing is that what Google did to Apple to garner Steve Jobs' jihad is exactly what Steve Jobs personally did to Xerox PARC back when Apple was a young startup. And he did it boastfully and gleefully. Shoe's on the other foot now, Steve. Why it's the tune changing?
Google wants Samsung's devices to ship. It wants everybody's devices to ship. Google's core value is not in commodity physical devices out in the world; its core products are in locked datacenters, where they can be protected as trade secrets (and of course by network effects).

(ETA: there were zero comments on this item in my UI when i posted my other comment, so I was extremely puzzled by +Carl Miller's line about a Scottish accent, and had thought the comment attached to the wrong thread....)
Add a comment...