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Google VP: We Weren’t Investing in the Patent Ecosystem Like We Should Have Been

In a recent interview with Bloomberg, Google’s VP of corporate development admits that Google never thought to heavily invest in patents, even of their own technology. What’s funny is that he does somewhat make a joke that they never thought to “patent round corners.”

With someone high up on the chain speaking like this though, you know Google has their business pants on now and they will certainly be protecting their intellectual property and taking the proper steps to securing their future as a tech heavyweight.

Via: Bloomberg

  • MicroNix

    Google should have patented a broad “method of searching the internet” years ago before 1/10th of everyone even knew what the internet was.

  • I truly hope this doesn’t mean Google joins in on the patent trolling.
    They have long been guided by the famous “don’t be evil” philosophy. If they are iterating technology, why would they bother to sign their name? Don’t be evil seemed to encompass, “be a good sharer,” and Google has exemplified this behavior.
    Unfortunately, they seem to have little choice other than to bolster the patent ecosystem simply in the interest of protecting their own contributions. I really hope this is as far as Google intends to take it, because I would like to continue to have a moderate opinion of the company. If their true intention is to start a counter-strike, then they are really no better than the other companies setting themselves up as nemesis. I hope at least one player in this game realizes that patent trolling isn’t helping anyone in the long run.

    • ok

      There is a big bold line between “Don’t be evil” and “Lay your OEMs and your ecosystem out for Apple’s little birdies to peck at, chew, and regurgitate to their kids.”

  • RW-1

    That’s the whole problem with the patent system in whole fo rsoftware, anyopne can try to patent anything. You have to admit Apple had the headstart thinking they could apply for anything and got most of it, whether or not they actually came up with it. It is a scam system, not doing what is was really designed for. Software patents should be banned, just like in the EU. Period.

  • SolipsisticPsychologist

    As much as I love my iMac desktop computer, I don’t think I’ll ever be buying another Apple product again. And God knows I would never touch an Apple phone, with them being as locked down and closed as they are. And with Gatekeeper coming out in Mountain Lion for my iMac, well I will be trying to stay on Snow Leopard or Lion for as long as I possibly can. But whenever I have have the notion to buy a new iMac. I just remember that by me buying one or anything made by Apple, I would be supporting their pathetic and childish patent endeavors, and that’s not something I could live comfortably with, knowing it is destroying innovation on so many fronts. Apple are nothing more than arrogant bullies, who stopped having any integrity or being respectable, a long time ago in my mind.

    To me, it’s sad that even die-hard Apple fans, can’t see the hypocrisy and how wrong their corrupt litigious efforts are.

    edit for: (missing words)

    • You do know Apple explicitly lets you turn off Gatekeeper if you like, right?

      Also, just remember that Google through Motorola is suing over standards-based patents it’s not supposed to sue over. No one’s completely innocent here, and just as your teachers told you on the schoolyard, hitting back doesn’t make it okay.

      To me, the idea of intentionally excluding a whole company’s products over questionable practices, only to embrace another company with questionable practices, seems odd.

      • Luxferro

        In the 35+ years I’ve been alive I have never bought any Apple products. It’s not because I am cheap, or don’t want to pay for over priced products – they do make some nice products. It’s because I really dislike Apple the company, their close-minded attitude, and desire to control everything. And I hated Steve Job’s and his god complex. Since the Android vs Apple wars, I dislike them even more. Anyone who goes up against Apple, either to defend themselves, or to be the aggressor I support 🙂

        Apple just rubs people the wrong way. That’s why there are people that either love them or hate them.

        • m0h3gansun

          same here…they get so much credit for the ipod, which they actually stole from lots and lots of manufacturers and basically paid hundreds of celebrities to spunk all over it

          • Got evidence of who they stole from with the iPod? They bought Pixo for the original OS (and modified it), and the wheel control was new that I can tell.

          • m0h3gansun

            ok apple fanboy go f yourself…do you see that right-hand mouse key…yeah stfu

  • Gr8Ray

    My takeaway from that interview: “You know, like… you know. You know? Well, you know.” Now you know.

  • sparticus

    Are u really using flash?

  • JazzoRenee

    The only argument that any Apple fanbaby has is stockholder rubbish and to me that is sad. Just sad. That as a company they can’t be innovative anymore, but all other PUBICALLY TRADED COMPANY can and choose to be.

  • EC8CH

    I think Google was spending more money on lobbying for patent reform instead of applying for patents, which arguably is the more noble endeavor.

  • satsmine2k4

    Google should patent the pull-able notification bar before apple patents it and sue’s em back…. Google please do it like now…

    • arturo_bandini

      Apple would have no case and I doubt that patent would be granted. You can’t just patent somebody else’s product because they didn’t. You actually have to *invent* something. That said, I wouldn’t put it past the law firm that is Apple to give it a shot…

      • satsmine2k4

        I know the invent part but the patent granters believed that “rectangle with rounded corners” were apple invented so i don’t have a great level of confidence on their common senses….

      • Droosh

        Slide to unlock, multi-touch, app grids, and millions of others.

    • Google alreasy owns that patent…

      • Droosh

        Wrong. However, they do have an application pending.

    • SAMBO

      I hope Google gets the patent for the notification bar. If they do, then survival of Apple’s Notification Center is looking pretty grim.

      • No it’s not, Apple knew about this patent before designing their notification center and has designed around this patent.

    • violator702

      I believe they have filed for a patent, but it is pending approval.

      • You are correct. It’s not a threat to Apple anyway, as the patent is rather specific to the way Android does things. Apple knew about the patent when they designed their “notification center” and made sure not to violate the pending patent.

        • ScoobySnack

          Really, how? It pulls down, it shows status.

          • I’m no expert at reading a patent, but there are usually ways to design around any patent while still copying the feature itself. That’s actually why patents are a good thing, they encourage innovation, but Apple ways of doing things sucks. Patents are supposed to protect your particular way of implementing a feature or invention, not necessarily the feature or invention itself. Nintendo patented the d-pad years ago, but only their particular design. They didn’t go around suing everyone who made a d-pad, because companies were forced to design it in a different way, which is perfectly legal. But Nintendo owned the patent on the best design of the d-pad, not the idea of a d-pad itself. Apple tries to sue anyone and everyone who copies a particular feature, even if they implement that feature a completely different way, which is stupid.

    • hot_spare
  • TheWhiteLotus


  • MichaelFranz

    I think what he really meant to say was, ok we’ve kept quiet long enough, watch all of the patent trolling, now we will step in and try and right a bunch of wrongs..

  • qb


  • Go Hawkeyes

    I’m hoping this means that Google is about to start suing the sh!t out of Apple.

  • TheWenger

    A necessary evil until some kind of major patent reform happens.

  • Droosh

    The question is when did they realize (have they yet) that need to patent everything conceivable to compete with Apple since this has been Apple’s strategy all along?

    • JazzoRenee

      The question is, why would you need too, Apple loses points because OF IT. It’s like basketball players patenting basketball movies so that no other player can improve upon them and at that point the game get’s stale, just like Apple products.

      • Droosh

        Because they have a legal and fiduciary responsibility to their shareholders and need to compete.

        Apple may lose integrity points, but their shareholders are very happy.

        • JazzoRenee

          I’m not a am Apple shareholder, so I could careless, but as a shareholder of OTHER REPUTABLE companies, I’d much rather that them spending time and energy in development and innovation than sitting in court rooms wasting money.
          Lack of innovation and IMPROVEMENT will lead to lose profits ANY DAY.

          • Droosh

            Wasting money?! Apple’s copies other’s IP and obvious public concepts then patents them. They then successfully bully others with their IP portfolio and Billions in cash. If you don’t get bullied, you get taken to court and have to spend millions on defense after which Apple wins most of the time.

            Google had better start playing the game agressivly or they will really be “wasting money.”

            As for you “could careless” (expression is couldn’t care less BTW), about shareholders… Shareholders are all these companies care about. Everything else is just a means to that end.

          • JazzoRenee

            IDGAF is that better for you???
            i don’t give a FVCK.

      • Go Hawkeyes

        Where does Apple lose points? Your perception? Unfortunately that is not where it matters. Because Apple’s strategy of copy from others and then patent it is resulting in them winning lots of lawsuits.

        • arturo_bandini

          They lose points on Android message boards and make up for it by reaping billions and billion of dollars in misbegotten profits.

          • JazzoRenee

            Sir they haven’t gotten a dime, yet and you might have to head over to HTC message board and then over to Samsung.

            Get lost.

  • Droid4All

    Compared to apple’s rounded rectangle patent crap, it’s pretty obvious.

  • El Big CHRIS

    Damn straight ya haven’t. And now Apple reaps the benefits. Wake up!

    • I hope Google gets the patent for the notification bar. If they do, then survival of Apple’s Notification Center is looking pretty grim...AppleMillionaireProject.webs.com

      • m0h3gansun

        i hope you are right and i hope apple gets sued off their pants for LTE and all the apple fanboys would be stuck on slower data speeds

        • michael arazan

          Google doesn’t want to be an evil corporate entity, but unfortunately they have to deal with them and protect themselves from them.

  • New_Guy

    Yeah…no duh…