Google has come out with a quite unexpected story on its blog when they openly attacked Microsoft,Oracle,Apple regarding bogus patents.
In their blog post, Google confirmed that Microsoft and other companies are filing bogus patent claims.
They’re doing this by banding together to acquire Novell’s old patents (the “CPTN” group including Microsoft and Apple) and Nortel’s old patents (the “Rockstar” group including Microsoft and Apple), to make sure Google didn’t get them; seeking $15 licensing fees for every Android device; attempting to make it more expensive for phone manufacturers to license Android (which we provide free of charge) than Windows Phone 7; and even suing Barnes & Noble, HTC, Motorola, and Samsung. Patents were meant to encourage innovation, but lately they are being used as a weapon to stop it.
A smartphone might involve as many as 250,000 (largely questionable) patent claims, and our competitors want to impose a “tax” for these dubious patents that makes Android devices more expensive for consumers. They want to make it harder for manufacturers to sell Android devices. Instead of competing by building new features or devices, they are fighting through litigation.
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.
Microsoft responded :
In response, Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith tweeted, “Google says we bought Novell patents to keep them from Google. Really? We asked them to bid jointly with us. They said no.”
And to back up Brad Smith’s tweet, Microsoft communications chief Frank Shaw tweeted this email from Google’s general counsel to Microsoft’s general counsel showing Microsoft was willing to work with Google:
Sorry for the delay in getting back to you — I came down with a 24-hour bug on the way back from San Antonio. After talking with people here, it sounds as though for various reasons a joint bid wouldn’t be advisable for us on this one. But I appreciate your flagging it, and we’re open to discussing other similar opportunities in the future.
I hope the rest of your travels go well, and I look forward to seeing you again soon.
Our take on this story:
What does it mean when Google says smartphone might involve as many as 250,000 (largely questionable) patent claims?It means there is something right in what other companies are claiming?All cant be bogus patents?Let’s wait and watch what unfold in this war of patents.