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Schmidt surprised Apple hasn't taken on Google in the courts

Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt this week admitted that he's confused as to why Apple has not taken its patent fight to the online search giant and instead targeted the phone makers that produce devices running Google's Android OS.

"It's extremely curious that Apple has chosen to sue Google's partners and not Google itself," Schmidt told the Wall Street Journal in a recent interview.

Apple has targeted a number of high-profile phone makers, most notably Samsung, but also HTC and Google-owned Motorola. Apple recently sought to have the Jelly Bean version of Android added to its case against Samsung, but has thus far not filed a direct patent suit against Google.

Schmidt said that Google and Apple discuss the patent situation "all the time," but the Google exec does not see an end to the fight anytime soon. "It'll continue for a while," he told the Journal. Still, Schmidt said that Apple CEO Tim Cook understands that major tech companies must embrace a "state model;" major countries might disagree with one another, but they still sit down and hold talks.

The real losers, Schmidt argued, are startups trying to get into the wireless space. In all likelihood, they are not going to have enough money to cover the patents needed to develop a wireless service.

There were rumours recently that Google was eyeing its own wireless network, perhaps in a deal with Dish Network. Schmidt, however, said that Google will focus its efforts on the wireline Google Fiber project it's currently rolling out in Kansas City.

Schmidt was also questioned about rumours that he was heading to the federal government, perhaps as Secretary of Treasury or Commerce. But Schmidt said flatly that he has "no interest" in a federal post. "Google is my home."

The Google exec was also not too impressed with Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8, arguing that Microsoft is not yet a "trendsetter" in the space.