Nokia, Microsoft Hits Back Calls Google's Complaint Over Patent Trolling "Desperate & Wrong"

Responding to Google's complaint filed on Thursday, May 31, with the European Commission accusing that Nokia and Microsoft colluded to raise mobile prices and both are using proxy companies to fight against Google Android.Nokia has since called the complaint both "frivolous" and "wrong," while Microsoft said it was a "desperate tactic."In particular, Google cited Nokia's […]

Responding to Google's complaint filed on Thursday, May 31, with the European Commission accusing that Nokia and Microsoft colluded to raise mobile prices and both are using proxy companies to fight against Google Android.

Nokia has since called the complaint both "frivolous" and "wrong," while Microsoft said it was a "desperate tactic."

In particular, Google cited Nokia's promises that it wouldn't enforce intellectual property rights against Linux - the core of Google's mobile operating system Android. Google also said that it wasn't the only biz worried about the Nokia tie-up with Microsoft, mentioning Barnes & Noble's concerns as well.

The patent troll in question appears to be Mosaid, which acquired Nokia patents in 2011 and has been pursuing cases using the blueprints. In the complaint, Google specifically claimed that Microsoft and Nokia had transferred 1,200 patents to Canada-based MOSAID Technologies, a so-called "patent troll" which makes money by taking legal action over patent infringements.

Google, however, had not yet been sued by Mosaid, saying the complaint was a preemptive measure. The concern on Google's part is that if enough legal risk emerges for OEMs who want to build Android phones, they'll simply turn to Windows Phone instead.

Google also reminded Nokia of its prior promise to not enforce IP rights against the Linux Kernel (the core of Google's Android OS).

A Google spokesperson in a statement to WSJ said, "Nokia and Microsoft are colluding to raise the costs of mobile devices for consumers, creating patent trolls that sidestep promises both companies have made. They should be held accountable, and we hope our complaint spurs others to look into these practices."

Microsoft issued the following statement, "Google is complaining about patents when it won't respond to growing concerns by regulators, elected officials and judges about its abuse of standard-essential patents, and it is complaining about antitrust in the smartphone industry when it controls more than 95 per cent of mobile search and advertising," an MS spokesperson told The Register in an emailed statement today.

"This seems like a desperate tactic on their part."

On the other hand, Nokia said, that Google was just plain wrong because "[they] the Finnish mobile maker and Microsoft have their own intellectual property rights portfolios and strategies and operate independently."

On the subject of selling patents to non-manufacturing entities, Nokia said it will flog its gear to anyone who it wants, thank you very much.

And, that it has "made regular patent divestments over the last five years. In each case, any commitments made for standards-essential patents transfer to the acquirer and existing licences for the patents continue," a Nokia spokesperson said.

"Had Google asked us, we would have been happy to confirm this, which could then have avoided them wasting the commission's time and resources on such a frivolous complaint," they added scathingly.

In addition, a Nokia spokesman Mark Durrant said on Friday, "Though we have not yet seen the complaint, Google's suggestion that Nokia and Microsoft are colluding on intellectual property rights is wrong," Nokia spokesman Mark Durrant said on Friday.

He also said that some Android devices had "significant (intellectual property) infringement issues" relating to Nokia's patents.