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Google responds to series of lawsuits based on Android, calls out rivals

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 03 Aug 2011 21:37 User comments (4)

Google responds to series of lawsuits based on Android, calls out rivals In a surprising post today, Google has called out Oracle, Microsoft and Apple today, accusing them of trying to stifle Android growth and development with their lawsuits based on "bogus patents."
Says Google SVP and Chief Legal Officer David Drummond:

I have worked in the tech sector for over two decades. Microsoft and Apple have always been at each other’s throats, so when they get into bed together you have to start wondering what's going on....

...Android’s success has yielded something else: a hostile, organized campaign against Android by Microsoft, Oracle, Apple and other companies, waged through bogus patents....

...Patents were meant to encourage innovation, but lately they are being used as a weapon to stop it.

The post (here) goes on to list all the ways rival companies are trying to attack Android, including Microsoft's continued lawsuits to get $15 licensing fees per Android device, the CPTN's (Apple, RIM, others) $4.5 billion purchase of 6000 Nortel patents to make sure Google didn't get them, and Apple's current suits against Samsung and Motorola over Android devices.

Drummond concludes:

This anti-competitive strategy is also escalating the cost of patents way beyond what they’re really worth. The winning $4.5 billion for Nortel’s patent portfolio was nearly five times larger than the pre-auction estimate of $1 billion. Fortunately, the law frowns on the accumulation of dubious patents for anti-competitive means — which means these deals are likely to draw regulatory scrutiny, and this patent bubble will pop.

We’re not naive; technology is a tough and ever-changing industry and we work very hard to stay focused on our own business and make better products. But in this instance we thought it was important to speak out and make it clear that we’re determined to preserve Android as a competitive choice for consumers, by stopping those who are trying to strangle it.

We’re looking intensely at a number of ways to do that. We’re encouraged that the Department of Justice forced the group I mentioned earlier to license the former Novell patents on fair terms, and that it’s looking into whether Microsoft and Apple acquired the Nortel patents for anti-competitive means. We’re also looking at other ways to reduce the anti-competitive threats against Android by strengthening our own patent portfolio. Unless we act, consumers could face rising costs for Android devices — and fewer choices for their next phone.

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4 user comments

13.8.2011 22:17

I Fully agree with google on this one and I'm an iphone owner

"Cable thief is a victimless crime."

23.8.2011 22:48

I hope this is the beginning of an overhaul on the patient system. It is not all bad but there seems to be far more abuse in the system then good that comes from it.

35.8.2011 17:10

This should be put to a vote; a world wide web vote by the people!
each country at a percentage. After all, we are the consumers!

47.8.2011 0:28

You know what they say: If you can't innovate, regulate.

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