Larry Page on the Android 'patent situation'

Google was asked about the "patent situation" during Thursday's second-quarter earnings call. The "situation," of course, is that Google recently lost a bid for a major bunch of patents -- and lost to a consortium including many of its main competitors in the mobile space. Meanwhile, developers are having to fight (or pay off) patent trolls, and we're seeing more licensing deals being made between Android OEMs and Google competitors.

Here's what Page had to say:

"Android's really on a tear. I mentioned there are over 550,000 new Android activations. There's over 400 such devices. Thirty-nine OEMs. Two-hundred-and-thirty-one carriers in 123 countries, and over 78 Open Handset Allience partners, and that velocity's only increasing."Now, of course, despite the efforts of some of our competitors, there hasn't been any slowdown in any of those things. And, you know, partners and developers are continuing to expand the Android ecosystem."And I should say, of course, we're really committed to Android and continue to support that platform and ecosystem, and do it in a cost-effective manner."

See also: Editorial: How long can Google and Android afford to remain silent on patents?

Phil Nickinson
  • And non of that answered the question about what they are going to do about the patent situation
  • In other words, "Don't look to us for help, we are still making money off search and don't care that you are being sued"
  • I hate it when people totally ignore the question.. I hope this doesnt bite google right in the A**!
  • Here's to saying something without really saying anything! So, that being said, what we can take away from this is that Google is kicking much ass.
  • He can't say anything specific and tip Google's hand. Patent war definitely requires lots of secrecy. I suspect that Google's working something (but maybe I'm just being optimistic).
  • Wow, I actually lost some brain cells reading Larry Page's response. If they aren't worried, then who cares, right? Enjoy your phones folks!!
  • Waffel wallel dodge dodge. Implicit in his answer is that all of these big corporations have huge legal departments and if Apple (or any body else) wants to start a serious patent fight they will find themselves in court in every country in the world, and not just the Eastern District of Texas where patent trolls do well. It was a veiled threat if you ask me. Just short of saying "Bring it On". As for "Google recently lost a bit for a major bunch of patents", they were never serious in their quest for those soon to expire patents in the first place. Any one with half a brain can figure out when they bid Pi (3.14159 billion) it was clearly just to make the other bidders bleed. They lost nothing.
  • I agree that Google wasn't serious but what I don't understand is why they weren't serious. They Obviously have the money to have made a stronger Bid but instead they let their rivals Microsoft and Apple have them. Why Google?
  • Because they don't need these patents, and they will soon be expiring anyway. Nortel hasn't been in serious development for many years now, and most of their patents are about to expire. Most are hardware related, and there are alternative patents that the chipset makers use. Patents only last for 17 years, and these are all 10 years or more old.
  • They aren't serious because one of the members of the winning consortium was RIM. They can just buy RIM and have a piece of the patents, plus all of the RIM patents. They're saving their money for a bargain deal on RIM.
  • Thats a good point
  • When do those patents expire? That was the first I heard about near expiration. If that's the case, why would the rest of the companies want to so badly buy those patents?
  • 17 years. Most of those companies make their own hardware. Google doesn't. If apple and Microsoft think they can make up 3 billion by not having to pay licensing fees while at the same time collecting fees from others then let them try. Google would save nothing, because they don't make anything. They calculated that these patents were not that valuable, based on the fact that all they could collect was licensing fees. Anyone actually NEEDING these nortel patents already licenses them.
  • Google is not in the hardware making business, most of their income is from advertising. Granted they may make a Nexus phone every year or two but there is no reason to spend big money to keep patent trolls from patents that will not effect Google's bottom line. If Apple can not stand the heat then get the hell out of the kitchen. The machine called GOOGLE will continue the take over. I for one would never become a robot to the I-phone, locked down hardware with no place to go. Google has I-phone scared shitless. Their actions tell it all. Apple makes one phone a year and they still can't get it right. hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahahh
  • I wouldn't care if Google went bankrupt tomorrow. I go where the next phone takes me...fanboys will be fanboys.
  • If you Read his reply properly what he's really saying is, there's nothing to worry about. They've seen these kinds of problems before and no doubt they will see them again but most importantly they've overcome them. And just to prove how confident everyone linked to Android is he go's on telling us how many new products and new companies are committed to Android. What he means is that if there was any major problems ahead, partner companies wouldn't be investing in Android so heavily
  • I'd be careful with that assumption. It sounds to me very similar to the ones made by people concerned about all of the banks handing out those interest-only, soon-to-be high-rate, mortgages to people of questionable financial integrity. That said, it's highly probable your analysis of his confident response is at least partially correct. And also very likely that he would be correct in having that level of confidence (especially if they still have an ace up their collective sleeve).
  • I think android was really really needed and was the best thing that ever happened to the phone business since nokia. I hated the iPhone right from the start. There big headed aproch was just too much and poor little me was left with the nokia n96 which was murder in comparison to my htc desire. Now those big headed idiots are trying to bring Android down but they never will. I hope and pray that android obliterates the competition. When I got my desire there were 70,000 activations daily and I am amazed at how it's 550,000 every day. It's the success story of the century I've never seen anything like it
  • Guys this things happen all the time especially with growing industries. We the consumer never truly notice the impact from this types of situation.
  • This is how wealthy people fight over a piece of the action. 5 years from now the top high end phones will still be 200 dollars. Android is already pass the point of failure!
  • Google has it all under control!!
  • So what is the answer?
    Oh bla bla bla
  • Que Google Android ad response. WTF Larry? Better do something about the situation, especially Microsoft signing deals with your OEM's for them to pay Microsoft a fee for every Android device shipped. I guess since they can't compete with Windows Phone, they'll just make money off as many Android devices as they can. That should be a concern for Google, so while Larry is talking about a bunch of new devices, OEM's and Android activations, he should be concerned over how many of those OEM's are paying Microsoft every time one of those new Android devices is activated.
  • And he had better hope the OEM's that Apple is suing don't strike similar deals as Microsoft. That would be counter productive to all those OEM's with new devices and all the new device activations. Android growth could end up equaling more money in your competitor's pockets Larry. That what you really want? If that happens, you won't be "WINNING".
  • Look,
    All you guys that think google is ignoring this should rethink what is taking place behind closed doors.
    If they are doing something, would they really want it to be in a blog so the big guys (MS, Apple), would know and circumvent. Seriously? Just so those of us that worry about Android would be happy?
    Based on previous Google history, when they do something they do it pretty big and they usually have a good strategy...or find one. that is what alarms MS and Apple. The growth is astounding.
    I am sure they are well aware of what is going on, and calculating the best option to move forward and around these patent trolls.
    Growth doesn't occur from stupidity. No one is perfect, but they aren't short of cash or brains at Google.
    Just b/c they haven't told us yet...should not be alarming. They haven't told MS or Apple either.