“During an interview on Monday, Google Senior Vice President and General Counsel Kent Walker opened up about the company’s loss to Apple in the Nortel patent auction, calling for patent reform in the U.S. as he characterized patents as ‘government-granted monopolies’ that block innovation,” Josh Ong reports for AppleInsider.
“Walker had indicated in April that Google was interested in a collection of 6,000 patents from bankrupt Canadian telecommunications equipment maker Nortel because ‘many of [Google’s] competitors have larger portfolios given their longer histories,'” Ong reports. “The search giant succeeded in placing the initial ‘stalking horse’ bid, but ultimately lost out to a group consisting of Apple and other competitors, including as Microsoft, Research in Motion and Sony.”
“Shortly after the auction’s results were announced, he posted a short statement describing the outcome as ‘disappointing for anyone who believes that open innovation benefits users and promotes creativity and competition,’ but declined to comment more on the matter,” Ong reports. “In an interview with TechCrunch’s MG Siegler on Monday, Walker [said]… ‘A patent isn’t innovation. It’s the right to block someone else from innovating,’ later adding that ‘patents are government-granted monopolies.’ Though the system was originally setup to reward innovation, ‘that’s not happening here.'”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Translation: “We wanted those Nortel patents to protect ourselves against patent infringement lawsuits, but since we lost them to Apple and therefore can’t game the system to our satisfaction, we now want to change the game instead. Maybe greasing politicians’ palms will be easier and cheaper than buying other companies’ patent portfolios or, God forbid, actually innovating on our own.”
So, if Google really feels that patents only “block someone else from innovating,” surely whatever patents they actually do possess are now public domain, right?
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Apple consortium wins $4.5 billion Nortel patent trove auction; Google, Intel lose bidding battle – July 1, 2011
Intel gets antitrust approval to bid on Nortel patents – June 24, 2011
Apple gets U.S. antitrust approval to bid for Nortel patent trove – June 23, 2011
Apple, Intel among bidders for Nortel patent trove – June 17, 2011
Nortel delays patent auction one week citing significant interest – June 16, 2011
RIM looks to outbid Apple, Google, and Nokia for Nortel’s patent treasure trove – April 18, 2011
Google bids $900 million for 6,000 Nortel telecom patents in quest to boost patent portfolio – April 4, 2011
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