Published in Mobiles

Smartphone industry is being screwed by a patent arms race


Gumming up invocation
Google's chief lawyer Kent Walker has warned that key players in the smartphone industry are using patents in an arms race that is "gumming up the works of innovation". He called on the US government needs to rein in the use of patents.

Of course he would say that. Google's Android is being sued by every proprietary company out there trying to protect their products from the search engine steam-roller.

Everyone knows that Apple invented the smartphone and Google just copied it and flogged it for free to spoil Jobs' Mobs perfect plans. Sorry I was channelling the New York Times for a moment.

Google is also facing a huge lawsuit from Oracle, which claims that Android infringes on some Sun Java patents it bought. Even when the CEO of Sun actually applauded the use of Java in Android.

Handset makers such as HTC and Samsung face claims from companies including Microsoft that their Android devices infringe its software patents. Walker told the Guardian that it was hard to find what's the best path when there was so much litigation about.

He said that the patent system meant "the tech industry has a significant problem" and that "software patents are kind of gumming up the works of innovation."  He claims that Google has been hesitant to use patents to file suits against other companies saying that it was not "good form."

Last modified on 27 July 2011
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