Google chief Eric Schmidt has criticized patent wars between Apple and Samsung Electronics and other rivals. Samsung's Galaxy series of smartphones use Google's Android OS.
Schmidt, who arrived in Korea on Thursday, told reporters there are more than 200,000 mobile patents and criticized their use as weapons to thwart innovation. "I think one of the worst things that has happened in the last few years is the belief that somehow, because there are so many patents... that one vendor could stop the sale of another vendor's devices," he said.
This "literally prevents choice, prevents innovation. And I think that's a very bad outcome," he added. Schmidt declined to comment on patent battles between Apple and Samsung, but he said "prior art" exists in any field.
"Google stands for innovation as opposed to patent wars… The last thing we want to see are innovation and particular products being stopped," Schmidt said.
He visited Samsung headquarters in southern Seoul and met Samsung top executives Choi Gee-sung and Shin Jong-kyun. They apparently discussed additional cooperation involving the Android OS and responses to Apple's lawsuit.