Google’s Executive VP Eric Schmidt, last month said ‘He doesn’t care about the Android Patent war’, Now, today, David Drummond, Google’s, SVP and Chief Legal Officer made a blog post on Google blog titled “When patents attack Android”.
In the blog post, Drummond said, “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.” Do you think it’s the right language? We, all agree, what’s happening is not a way to do the business, but at the same time — the language does matter — no matter how frustrated you are.
Drummond wrote that “Android is on fre. “Over 50,000 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.”
We do agree with Drummond here,
“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.”
He says, “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 (and here), Motorola, and Samsung. Patents were meant to encourage innovation, but lately they’re 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’re fighting through litigation,” Drummond said.
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.
Drummond says, “We’re encouraged that the DoJ 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 (recently bought 1030 patents from IBM).”
“Unless we act, consumers could face rising costs for Android devices — and fewer choices for their next phone,” 100 percent true Drummond. Ultimately, it’s the customer who is suffering in the end, as the manufacturers are passing the additional surchared on to customers.
[Source: Google blog]