Google and Microsoft are in for a brawl

Google’s chief legal officer, David Drummond had claimed that Android’s success has created an organized campaign against Android by Microsoft, Oracle, Apple and others through patents. “This anti-competitive strategy is also escalating the cost of patents way beyond what they’re really worth,” said Drummond.

Microsoft has now replied to Google’s earlier comments about their Android platform being under threat. Microsoft’s general counsel, Brad Smith said, “Google says we bought Novell patents to keep them from Google. Really? We asked them to bid jointly with us. They said no.”

Now Drummond has changed his previous blog post which now includes:

“It’s not surprising that Microsoft would want to divert attention by pushing a false “gotcha!” while failing to address the substance of the issues we raised. If you think about it, it’s obvious why we turned down Microsoft’s offer. Microsoft’s objective has been to keep from Google and Android device-makers any patents that might be used to defend against their attacks. A joint acquisition of the Novell patents that gave all parties a license would have eliminated any protection these patents could offer to Android against attacks from Microsoft and its bidding partners. Making sure that we would be unable to assert these patents to defend Android — and having us pay for the privilege — must have seemed like an ingenious strategy to them. We didn’t fall for it.”

Frank Shaw from Microsoft has replied via twitter:

“Hello again David Drummond. This is going to take a few tweets, so here we go. Let’s look at what Google does not dispute in their reply.

  • We offered Google the opportunity to bid with us to buy the Novell patents; they said no.
  • Why? BECAUSE they wanted to buy something that they could use to assert against someone else.
  • SO partnering with others & reducing patent liability across industry is not something they wanted to help do”