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Microsoft lawyer defends Android licensing strategy

November 1st, 2011 at 7:15 AM

Speaking with The San Francisco Chronicle recently, the deputy general counsel of Microsoft’s intellectual property group, Horacio Gutiérrez, discussed his company’s decisions to chase down other firms for Android-licensing agreements and the current state of patent wars. Gutiérrez doesn’t think Microsoft should be viewed as a “patent troll” for its recent agreements with Samsung, HTC, ViewSonic and Acer (among others) and its ongoing lawsuit with Foxconn and Barnes & Noble over the Nook. He also does not think the current patent system is broken. “Every time there are these technologies that are really disruptive, there are patent cases,” Guitiérrez explained. “Licensing is not some nefarious thing that people should be worried about. Licensing is, in fact, the solution to the patent problem that people are reactive so negatively about.” Read on for more.

Guitiérrez says that Microsoft invented a number of functions used in Android, including the “ability to synchronize the content that you have in your phone with the information in the server of your company or in your computer at home,” and the “efficiency of operating systems” as a whole. “I think the most important part here is that a lot of the innovation that is happening today is really happening in the software space,” Gutiérrez noted. “So the question of whether software should be patentable is, in a sense, the same as asking whether a significant part of the technological innovation happening nowadays should receive patent protection.” The San Francisco Chronicle’s full interview can be found via the read link below.


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