Google Chairman On Patent Battles And Nexus 7
September 27, 2012

Schmidt Talks Apple, Patent Battles, Nexus 7 And Gangnam Style

Michael Harper for — Your Universe Online

Shortly after giving the world his interpretation of a dance which has been made popular via YouTube video, Google´s executive chairman Eric Schmidt took some time to speak with Android manufacturers, launch the Google Nexus 7 tablet in Seoul, and give his opinion about Apple´s new Maps in iOS 6 and the recent patent battles.

During the Nexus 7 launch event, Schmidt told those in attendance, "Google stands for innovation as opposed to patent wars... The last thing we want to see are innovation and particular products being stopped.”

Schmidt didn´t specifically name any case, but was likely referring to this summer´s courtroom drama between Apple and Samsung. These battles are seen as a thinly veiled attack against Android, a product which former Apple CEO Steve Jobs felt was a direct rip off of their iPhone operating system.

Samsung famously lost this battle and could owe Apple more than $1 billion in damages. The Galaxy S maker also stands to have those products, which have been ruled to infringe on Apple´s, banned for sale in the US.

“Literally patent wars prevent choice, prevent innovation and I think that is very bad,” said Schmidt, according to the Korea Times.

“I think one of the worst things that happened in the last few years has been the belief that somehow there are so many patents in the mobile phone world, an estimated 200,000 that are overlapping and complicated and so forth, that one vendor can stop the sale of another vendor´s phones or devices.”

One of Samsung´s main arguing points during their court case with Apple was that any kind of patent lawsuit or injunction ultimately leads to a lack of innovation and therefore, a lack of options for consumers.

Schmidt was careful not to step on Apple´s toes too much, however, calling them a “very good partner” with whom his company works very frequently.

“With respect to Apple patents, the best thing we can tell there are plenty of prior arts and I don´t want to go beyond that,” said Schmidt.

The dancing Google executive then made his way to meet with Samsung officials, calling them “one of our most important partners.”

According to the Korea Times, Schmidt and Samsung´s mobile chief Shin Jong-kyun then met to discuss Apple´s victory and develop an ongoing strategy to handle future legal matters between the companies. Speaking again to another group of reporters at Samsung´s headquarters, Schmidt played coy, saying the executives only had a “normal meeting.”

While the Google chairman had little to say about Apple specifically, he had much to say about the new Nexus 7 and Korea´s recent boom in smartphone adoption.

"In 2011, Korea had 30 percent smartphone penetration... Right now in 2012, 60 percent of Koreans have smartphones. This gives you the sense of how fast this is happening," said Schmidt.

The Nexus 7 tablet has been available in the States for a few months and has earned quite the reputation, selling out its stock early on. Now as the Nexus 7 tablet ships to Korea, it will be the first in the country running Google´s latest mobile OS, Android 4.1, or Jelly Bean. Pre-orders in Korea will kick off tomorrow for 299,000 won (or about $267) and will be available in stores this October.