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Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) executive chairman Eric Schmidt brought up the rapidly growing trend of patent litigation in the technology industry on Thursday, expressing frustration that mobile phone rivalries were being built on court battles.
“Literally patent wars prevent choice, prevent innovation and I think that is very bad,” Schmidt said at the launch event for the company’s Nexus 7 tablet in Seoul, according to Korea Times. “We are obviously working through that and trying to make sure we stay on the right side of these issues. So ultimately Google stands for innovation as opposed to patent wars.”
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Schmidt was ambivalent with his opinion on Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), saying the iPhone maker was “actually a very good partner,” but adding that “with respect to Apple patents, the best thing we can tell there are plenty of prior arts.”
He stressed that his belief was companies should compete with products instead of hurting consumer choice and preventing innovation through intellectual property arguments. “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,” Schmidt said.
The chief executives also reaffirmed ties with hardware partner Samsung: “I will be meeting with Samsung as well as with other important partners as I do every time I come here. With Samsung, as you can imagine, they are one of our most important partners and there is much to discuss.”
Schmidt is set to meet senior Samsung executives this week and the speculation is that shared rival Apple will be one of the key subjects of discussion. He refused to offer many details, saying it was “a normal meeting.”
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