In an interview with the SF Chronicle, Microsoft Attorney Horacio Gutiérrez argues against Google’s claims that the software giant is extorting money from companies such as HTC in the form of licensing agreements. He says it’s just a good solution.
According to Gutiérrez, the influx of smartphone-related patent lawsuits shouldn’t be seen as unusual or unexpected, as this has happened for decades.
“Every time there are these technologies that are really disruptive, there are patent cases. People who lived in that particular time would look and say, ‘What a mess, we certainly must live in the worst time from an (intellectual property) perspective. The system is broken and something has to be done to fix it.'”
Gutiérrez also argues that Microsoft is not merely suing companies for having a similar implementation of an idea on a surface, but rather, but alludes that they’re going after companies who are taking their ideas on line-by-line code basis.
And while such an arguement, does make sense conceptually, one can argue that the 20 year lifespan of a patent far outlives the lifecycles of many technologies. And licensing agreements can still stifle innovation if the terms are so unfavorable that the smaller, more creative companies can’t afford them. But yes, it’s better than nothing, I suppose. [SF Gate]