Google’s recent letter to the IEEE about their position on the current lawsuits between Motorola Mobility and Apple seems to spark some outrage across the mobile land. And I’m puzzled.
First of all, I don’t think any specific company is innocent in this dance, starting with Apple themselves. In their letter to the ETSI, Apple stated (quoted):
Apple’s letter then moves on to propose a solution based on three specific principles: appropriate royalty rate; common royalty base; no injunction.
That’s a nice thought, but it’s making quick work of Apple’s recent attempts at obtaining various injunctions against its rivals in the recent past, most notably Samsung.
So what’s going on, here, now that the injunction course of action didn’t work for them, Apple thinks injunctions should be disallowed for everyone?
This whole patent war is ugly. Ugly, ugly, ugly. When Apple fired the first shot against Samsung in April 2011, the entire community seemed to be in wide agreement that this was a crazy move, one that could only lead to the mutually assured destructions of all the parties involved. Obviously, Apple had weighed these risks and they came to the conclusion that either they could afford the collateral or that this collateral would be very small anyway, since they thought that innovation was on their side.
As the events since April have shown, things are obviously not so clear cut and innovation seems to be spread quite evenly among all the parties involved. The result of Apple’s opening salvo has been a flurry of suits and counter suits which, frankly, have led nowhere. All the companies involved are poorer than before, their patent attorneys are much richer and the whole field is an intellectual property war zone.
In the letter mentioned above, Google is simply stating that they won’t change anything to the legal actions that Motorola Mobility had underway before Google acquired them. That’s it.
It makes as much sense getting upset about this as it is to be outraged at someone because they play chess viciously.
Now that the war is full on, I can’t find anything wrong with all the players trying to fight as much as they can and let the courts decide who’s right and who’s wrong. The only stupid move in this conflict would be not to play.