It is no secret that Mountain View-based Google has been in a flurry of legal proceedings over its Android operating system—along with the OEMs that use it. Consequently, Google has been vocal in the past about how it wants to change the patent system in the United States. Adding to the attempt of reform, in an interview with reporters in Seoul this afternoon, Google Legal Chief David Drummond called for a reform of how software patents are issued.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Drummond talked about making it more difficult to obtain a software patent as one possible solution. He spoke about other countries, specifically: “There are places in the world where you can’t get a software patent, or at least it’s harder, like Europe. We think that’s probably the better way to go.” Many others have also voiced a similar opinion.
As the smartphone race has heated up over the past few years, patent litigation has taken main stage. What comes to mind of many is the recent litigation just completed between Apple and Samsung, where Apple was ruled the victor. Another proceeding between the two companies is also on tap for the year 2014 to focus on newer devices. A new device comes out.. a new lawsuit accompanies it.
One could say the amount of lawsuits has gotten to be just too much. Google has made acquisitions in order to protect itself from being sued. In the summer of 2011, Google purchased Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion as a way to not only gain a hardware sector, but more importantly obtain key patents that would potentially protect itself in court. Motorola, along with HTC and others, has also been involved in recent proceedings worldwide.
In his interview today, Drummond also added his opinion on how reform would affect other markets like biotech and pharmaceuticals. He said, “I think what we need to do to is move past the one-size-fits-all and start thinking about software patents more specifically. If you talk about software patents, I don’t think those other industries will feel as threatened,” according to the Wall Street Journal.
Google isn’t the only company that thinks something should be done.