Google exec pens open letter on ‘hostile’ campaign against Android | iLounge News

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Google exec pens open letter on ‘hostile’ campaign against Android

David Drummond, Senior Vice President and Chief Legal Officer for Google, has posted an open letter in which he accuses Apple, Microsoft, Oracle, and others of waging “a hostile, organized campaign against Android” using what he calls “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 Phone 7; 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,” he writes.

“This anti-competitive strategy is also escalating the cost of patents way beyond what they’re really worth,” Drummond continues. “The 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.”

Following the publication of Drummond’s post, Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith stated on Twitter that Microsoft asked Google to bid jointly for the Nortel patents, and that they said no, a claim corroborated by screenshot of an email to Smith from Google General Counsel Kent Walker stating as much, which was published online by Frank X. Shaw of Microsoft. Notably, Google attempted to purchase the Nortel patents on its own, despite its inference that they are of a “dubious” nature; Apple has yet to respond on the issue.

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Comments

1

If this patents are valid, Google is giving up free something that doesn’t belong to it. Every IT company has lost a patent dispute, and every IT company has beed ordered to pay “damages”. All of them. Microsoft, Apple, Motorola, etc. Why Google would be the exception? And even more if they are using something that is other’s people property.

Posted by Hal 9000 on August 4, 2011 at 8:42 AM (PDT)

2

Because the patent system has become antiquated. And people like the execs at Apple make it worse through their shady maneuvers like attacking the hardware companies (HTC, Motorola, etc) for using a certain software (Android) that infringes on a patent. Now that HTC has lost, Apple has set a standard in the court system.  Apple’s real issue was with Google’s software this whole time.

Apple is doing a great job of defeating their competitors.  The only problem is that they are doing it through the court system and not through innovation.

Posted by Apple Unenthusiast on August 4, 2011 at 10:16 AM (PDT)

3

The patent system isn’t so much antiquated as it was allowed to become non-specific as the technologies being ‘invented’ grew far beyond the knowledge of the clerks in the patent office.

You don’t patent a specific circuit to solve a task, or a specific block of code to perform an operation, you are allowed to get a patent on nothing more than a slightly better than vague concept described with enough big words to make sure the person going over your forms doesn’t realize there’s probably thousands of other patents already covering exactly the same thing.

All the patent system needs is a very simple fix: you own a specific product, or a specific program’s code. The concept behind it, however, is automatically public domain since very few people including most of our great inventors actually came up with the concept itself. If somebody has to duplicate your code or your circuitry to duplicate your function, well, you really did invent something, but if they can make an equivalent product in a different manner they can and owe you nothing because you obviously invented nothing, you just came up with one of many solutions first.

If movies, music and books worked the way software and electronics work today there would have been nothing created for the last 3000 years.

Posted by Code Monkey in Midstate New York on August 4, 2011 at 11:28 AM (PDT)

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