Google Still Thinks Apple Patent Win Was About Geometry
Defending itself against Apple’s allegations of iPhone trade dress infringement earlier this summer, Samsung argued that the device’s major design elements are largely rectangles and squares with rounded corners, none of which is particularly new or original. Evidently that’s an argument Google can really get behind, because David Lawee, the company’s vice president of corporate development, used it as a talking point during a recent interview with Bloomberg TV.
Remarking on Samsung’s sweeping legal loss to Apple, Lawee said the ordeal had shifted Google’s formerly relaxed view of tech patents.
“We actually didn’t invest in the patent ecosystem,” Lawee said. “We weren’t patenting things as aggressively as we should have been. We didn’t really believe rounded corners were patentable. We just didn’t buy into that notion of protecting your IP, and it was a wake-up call.”
An interesting angle on the situation, considering Google’s pursuit of Nortel’s patent portfolio and its patent-driven $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility, both of which predate the Apple-Samsung case.
In any event, Google’s certainly packing heat now, though Lawee says the company would much prefer peace to the apocalyptic scenario Apple co-founder Steve Jobs famously described to biographer Walter Isaacson. Said Lawee, “I’m hoping that we’re kinda over the hump in terms of how people value patents, and the ‘thermonuclear’ world is not the world we’re going to live in.”