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Google’s Schmidt: Patent issues ‘terrible,’ but Motorola deal about more than that

Eric Schmidt, Google’s government chairman, gave his tackle the corporate’s Motorola acquisition — and the state of the U.S. patent system — as a part of his look on stage at Salesforce.com’s Dreamforce convention in San Francisco this afternoon. Questioned by by Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, Schmidt mentioned Google’s proposed $12.5 billion Motorola acquisition isn’t simply about getting the cellular firm’s defensive patent trove.

“Having a minimum of one space the place we are able to do built-in {hardware} and software program and be taught from that in all probability produces higher merchandise,” Schmidt mentioned, by way of webcast.

He continued with a prolonged evaluation of the state of the U.S. patent system, together with the acquisition of Nortel Networks’ patents by a consortium that consists of Microsoft and Apple, each of that are difficult Google’s Android cellular OS over patents in court docket.

Patent issues are horrible. It appears to be like like, within the Nineteen Nineties and early 2000, there have been numerous software program patents that had been issued that had been very broad, and the business is now spending numerous time invalidating earlier patents. After a consortium went after the Northern Telecom patents — and I believe they had been going to go for, all people thought, about $1 billion they usually went for $4.5 billion, we dropped out after some time as a result of it acquired to dear — rapidly the worth of all these questionable patents simply went up and up and up.

I after all recommended that the right approach to clear up the patent drawback was to take all of the patents as they’re printed and crowdsource them. In different phrases, say right here’s a proposal for a patent. Would all people remark and see if there’s any prior artwork. As a result of these poor folks within the patent workplace are overburdened. THe solely drawback with my proposal is it’s unlawful. The way in which the patent system works exactly doesn’t permit for that form of disclosure. So there may be laws that’s within the Senate which we hope will cross this 12 months, which can each fund the patent workplace more and provides them the rights to kick out numerous these patents earlier.

We had been lucky as a software program business that it was not an business that was outlined by patents. It was outlined by creativity. With these new patent fights that are coming, I’m apprehensive that these overbroad patents will by some means sluggish it down. I need to be clear right here — an organization like Google has the cash to go and combat these wars. We’ve very sensible patent attorneys. By the way in which, you all could not know that primarily all of the patent fights that are attention-grabbing are accomplished in a single district, the East District Courtroom of Texas. How that is potential is past me. But once more, it doesn’t really feel fairly proper. Patents are necessary, but let’s do them in a means that’s systematic.

Beforehand: Google, Motorola, and Microsoft’s role in one of the strangest tech deal ever

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