Device operating systems

Google Slams Android Patent Attackers

Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) has had enough.

In a corporate blog post on Wednesday, Google's Senior VP and Chief Legal Officer David Drummond spoke out against Android patent attacks and accused Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL), Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL) and other companies of waging a "hostile, organized campaign against Android" through "bogus patents."

Here's a choice sampling of Drummond's outrage:

    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. Microsoft and Apple’s 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.

Drummond doesn't stop there. He goes on to say [Ed note: And the sound of a fist pounding the table is audible here] 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 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."

So the fight is on!

Google's Android operating system is indeed swept up in the current wave of smartphone litigation. But this statement from Google suggests these legal disputes are about to escalate even further. (See Apple vs. Android Patent Spat Goes Global and Handset Makers Air Patent Grievances.)

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Light Reading Mobile

Michelle Donegan 12/5/2012 | 4:57:10 PM
re: Google Slams Android Patent Attackers

Is Google just annoyed that now it'll have to pay more to acquire Interdigital, or any other patents?

Shouldn't this debate really include patent reform?

pdonegan67 12/5/2012 | 4:57:07 PM
re: Google Slams Android Patent Attackers

Maybe "Do No Evil" has run its course as a corporate motto. Maybe they need a new one. How about "We'll Fumble, You Pay" ?

gtchavan 12/5/2012 | 4:57:04 PM
re: Google Slams Android Patent Attackers

Apple Ecosystem is far more powerful than these silly games Google is playing.  A couple of days ago I noticed that I can not zoom after a search on Google on my ipad.  It only happened after a search.  I looked up this online to see if there is any solution for it.  I cleared my cache and did everything possible to fix it but the problem was still there.  So yesterday I ran to Best Buy to see if the display ipad had the same problem and yes it had the same problem.  Then we tried an android pad and the problem was not there.  It is absolutely clear that Google is now in war with apple customers.  Tonight I am taking my ipad to an apple store so they can figure how I can get rid of google as my default browser search engine.  I predit this is the beginning of the end of google, you can't go to war with the users and win.

mgardner750 12/5/2012 | 4:56:59 PM
re: Google Slams Android Patent Attackers

On Atomic Web browser you can change the indentity of the browser. If you identify the browswer as Mobile Safari - IPAD or Mobile Safari the Zoom doesn't work. The page layout also changes. Set to any other browser the Zoom works fine.

I think it has more to do with the layout changing in Safari than an effort by Google to annoy Apple users.

mgardner750 12/5/2012 | 4:56:59 PM
re: Google Slams Android Patent Attackers

I use my IPAD all the time and was surprised I didn't notice the ZOOM problem. So I tried it out.

My XZoom worked fine after a google search. Hmmm

I use a different browser (Atomic Web, much better than Safari). I tried a search on Apple using Safari. Sure enought that page will not zoom. But the other Safari pages not on Google Zoom fine.

I think it is really odd that Google would make the effort to disable zoom on Safari. Seems like the PR downside would be huge for little to no upside.




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