Weren't patents supposed to be about encouraging innovation? Of course, the reality is that they're mostly used for the opposite purpose, which is holding back innovation, stopping other companies and cashing in on the lawsuits. It seems that some analysts aren't even pretending that patents are useful for innovation any more. Trip Chowdhry, a somewhat well known analyst in the tech space, is claiming that Motorola has failed in selling its Android-based Xoom tablets, and should give them up. He then suggests that the company go full on patent troll and sue everyone else making Android tablets
. Because that
will help the market. Think of it as Chowdhry's scorched earth policy: if Motorola can't succeed in Android tablets, no one
should succeed in Android tablets. Apparently, Chowdhry thinks this is a good thing, because Android sucks in his opinion (though, not in the opinions of plenty of folks who are happily snapping up Android devices at an increasingly rapid rate...):
The successful launch of the iPhone on Verizon, he writes, has "taken the wind" out of Android's sails. The Google app store is "a disaster." Honeycomb, the operating system on which Motorola has hitched its wagon, is "incomplete," "unstable," has a "poor UI" and is basically "dead on arrival."
All in all, Motorola's "competitive fixation" on Apple (AAPL) and Research in Motion (RIMM) is misplaced. Rather than trying to innovate on software, Chowdry suggests, "selectively attacking with patents other Android phone OEM's is a better strategy."
Or, you know, the company could take that effort and focus on making a better product and improving the overall market. But, suing everyone else and burning down the whole Android market is apparently more fun... at least for those with a ridiculously short-term focus on quarterly results, rather than a long-term focus on innovation and actually building out profitable business lines.