While Google’s approach to patents has been mixed through the years, the general line has been quite consistent: Google isn’t a fan. Now, after Microsoft won the Nortel patent package in a joint bid, Google is flatly accusing them of using anti-competitive tactics to sabotage Android.
David Drummond, Senior Vice President and Chief Legal Officer over at Google, made a post that bordered on vicious. He started by talking about the wild success of the Android OS – which comprised nearly 50 percent of global sales in Q2 of 2011. “But Android’s success has yielded something else,” stated Drummond. “A hostile, organized campaign against Android by Microsoft, Oracle, Apple and other companies, waged through bogus patents.”
Drummond states that competitors, include Microsoft, Apple, and Oracle, are taking the low route. “Instead of competing by building new features or devices, they are fighting through litigation,” said Drummond. The most recent attempt to do so, Drummond claims, is the purchase of the Nortel patent package at the beginning of July.
Google themselves bid on the package, but did so in a way that many saw as flippant: They bid famous mathematical numbers, such as pi. Google lost the package to a joint bid from Microsoft, Apple, Oracle, and others, which reached nearly five times the expected bid for the patents.
Microsoft responded by demonstrating that they had attempted to work out a joint bid with Google, and even showed emails that proved such efforts had been made. Drummond countered that, should Google have accepted the joint bid offer, the patents would have become useless to them and still could have been used against the Android platform.
Drummond is implicitly calling for action from the Department of Justice, claiming that the patent tactic is anti-competitive, stifling to innovation, and unethical.