Google Fights Back at Sun Valley

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Still Stinging from being pushed out into the cold, Eric Schmidt, Google executive Chairman gets back.

Schmidt criticized Apple, Microsoft and Research in Motion for spending a great deal of money on patents rather than innovating.

Im worried and or disappointed that weve gotten to this point in the industry, Mr Schmidt said from the Allen & Co conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, where he spent the week mingling with other technology and media moguls (check http://arabiangazette.com/sun-valley-over-shadowed/)

This criticism comes a week later after those companies beat Google in the bidding war for Nortels wireless patents. (More details http://arabiangazette.com/google-cramped-out/) the combined companies paid $4.5bn, which Google couldnt match up as the price exceeded our value threshold Schmidt said.

We chose not to bid at that level. I presume people spent $4.5bn to do something with them, he said of the group that bought the bankrupt communication equipment makers patents. They didnt just wake up and say oh, wed like to have this patent portfolio. I dont know what their intent is, but we, as a company, worry that this is an attempt to use patents rather than to innovate.

The mention of patents makes all the technology companies sit up and take note. The recent lawsuits between every major developer of smartphone hardware and software have highlighted the need for groups to have robust patent portfolios.

This episode has actually made Google much more stronger. Analysts say that all this time Google has been playing the good guy but it sees that to be number one it needs to think more strategically.

Well it seems that Google is planning on building its own holding by acquiring other patent portfolios at reasonable prices.

Now that the value of patents appears to have increased a great deal based on these data points, there are lots of people that have patents that are available, Mr Schmidt said. We have a lot of patents. If the answer is tonnage, I think well be fine.

In speaking about Google Plus, the new social network site by Google he said that it is set to become a fundamental part of the companys strategy across search, maps and online video.

The whole company is ramping up on top of it, he said. The assumption is that everything will move over to using the Plus infrastructure over time.

Meanwhile on Friday, it was announced Mr Schmidt will testify at a September hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committees antitrust sub-committee

Source: Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times

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