Google CEO Larry Page has denied that Android is under attack from the swelling patent coffers of its rivals and the increasing threat of IP litigation. “Obviously, we have a lot of IP in progress – not only what has been issued” the chief exec insisted during Google’s financial earnings call, TechCrunch reports, going on to point out that “despite the efforts of some of our competitors, there hasn’t been any slow down.”
However, it seems Page isn’t willing to simply buy up patents, and would rather Google filed based on its own research and endeavors. “We’re really committed to Android” he suggested, “[but] we will support it in a cost-effective manner.” The obvious example of what Page is talking about is the recent Nortel patent auction, in which Google lost out to a consortium made up of Apple, Microsoft and others when the IP haul went for a whopping $4.5bn.
“Android is on a tear” Page was confident, pointing to the platform’s impressive activation stats and other figures. Google claims it activates 550,000 Android devices daily and currently has around 250,000 apps in the Android Market. That reach helped push Google’s revenue to $9bn in the last quarter.
Nonetheless, while Google may not be concerned about patent issues, the OEMs using the software could be forgiven for not feeling as confident. Microsoft has recently announced a series of high-profile licensing agreements with Android OEMs, most recently Wistron but the company apparently also has Samsung in its sights. Meanwhile, firms like HTC have moved to secure their own patent portfolio; HTC bought graphics firm S3 in what the company admitted was a defensive/offensive litigation decision.