David Drummond, Google Senior Vice President and Chief Legal Officer, today posted the following blog post, verbatim:
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.
MacDailyNews Take: If this is Google’s Chief Legal Officer, they’re doomed.
Beyond that, the fear is palpable. Don’t steal IP and you’ll have nothing to fear, Davey. Plus, you wouldn’t have to try (and fail) to buy other company’s patents in order to defend your theft, π-boys.
Apple invented the iPhone, not Google.
Unlock the tower and shout that up to the mole that your do-know-evil company recently kicked upstairs.
And, oh by the way: Google turned down chance to join Microsoft in the Novell patent bid. Explain that, Davey.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]
Changewave: Apple iPhone demand outgrows Android phones in 2011 – July 18, 2011
Analyst: Apple takes 50% of handset industry profits ahead of 100 million iPhone year – July 8, 2011
Nielsen: Apple iPhone drives U.S. smartphone growth as Android stagnates – June 30, 2011
Google’s Schmidt: Apple not responding with innovation, they’re responding with lawsuits – July 19, 2011
Taiwan’s HTC shares tumble after U.S. ITC’s Apple patent ruling – July 18, 2011
HTC to appeal U.S. ITC ruling that company infringed on Apple patents – July 18, 2011
Apple’s U.S. ITC patent victory threatens future of Google’s Android – July 16, 2011
How Google’s Android infringes on Apple’s patents in U.S. ITC determination – July 16, 2011
U.S. ITC finds HTC infringed upon Apple patents – July 15, 2011
HTC decries ‘Apple’s constant attempts at litigations instead of competing fairly in the market’ – July 12, 2011
HTC stock tumbles after Apple’s new patent lawsuit – July 12, 2011
Apple’s second ITC complaint against HTC Android products dissected – July 11, 2011
Apple files second U.S. ITC trade complaint against HTC, seeks to block HTC imports – July 11, 2011
Steve Jobs loads up on high-powered legal team to protect Apple’s intellectual property – April 22, 2010
Apple’s patent infringement lawsuit: The elephant in HTC’s new headquarters – April 2, 2010
Apple patent infringement lawsuit applies pressure to HTC – March 3, 2010
Apple puts the entire industry on notice by suing HTC for patent infringement – March 03, 2010
What Apple vs. HTC could mean for the future of mobile devices – March 03, 2010
Apple looks for expedited proceedings in patent infringement case against HTC – March 03, 2010
Patent lawyer: Apple’s going after HTC first, Motorola’s next, but Google’s the real target – March 03, 2010
The specific Apple patents over which Apple is suing HTC – March 02, 2010
Boom! Apple sues HTC for infringing on 20 iPhone patents – March 02, 2010