Google Accuses Apple of Hostile, Organized Campaign Against Android

Google Accuses Apple of Hostile, Organized Campaign Against Android

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Google has just released a statement via their blog accusing Apple, Microsoft, Oracle and others of teaming up in a hostile campaign against Android.

The post was written by David Drummond, Senior Vice President and Chief Legal Officer of Google.

You can read it below...

[via Official Google Blog]

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. Here is what's happening:

Android is on fire. More than 550,000 Android devices are activated every day, through a network of 39 manufacturers and 231 carriers. Android and other platforms are competing hard against each other, and that's yielding cool new devices and amazing mobile apps for consumers.

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

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 Mobile; 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. 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.

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.

Google Accuses Apple of Hostile, Organized Campaign Against Android

Nir Hus - August 4, 2011 at 4:46pm
Accusations are just accusation does not equal the truth or guilty. they often time are baseless and should carry no weight, but they can be very damaging, Nir Hus
Tonny Bukdahl - August 4, 2011 at 10:22am
Unfortunately Google has on numerous occasions violated patents from many competitors on purpose - so it's not a case of wether Apple or Microsoft want the market for them self, rather than a case of Google getting caught, once again, with their hands in the cookie jar. If they want to use patented technology, pay for it like everyone else. Apple is merely defending their patented knowledge and technological know-how, as they, or any other, for that matter, should do!
David - August 4, 2011 at 12:49am
Other companies such as Microsoft and Oracle are mentioned ever time Apple is. So, why is Apple the only "adversary" listed in the article headline? Linkbait?
JC - August 4, 2011 at 2:53am
iClarified reports Apple-related news, so it makes sense to concentrate on Apple on the title line.
Kenyan Dave - August 4, 2011 at 12:46am
Google can't innovate so they are trying to copy others. Witness Google Plus. Reminds me of Microsloth of the 90's. Google'a a one trick pony - search. When Apple introduced the iPhone, the Steve said they'd protect their patents and are right in doing so. Why not innovate something guys. You've got the brightest minds in the business. No?
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