Apple, Microsoft strangling Android with anti-competitive patent bids, says Google

Published Date
04 - Aug - 2011
| Last Updated
04 - Aug - 2011
Apple, Microsoft strangling Android with anti-competitive patent...

Google has come down heavily on its rivals, especially Apple and Microsoft, accusing them of trying to “strangle” Android with their bogus patent campaign. The internet company, however, vows to continue pushing its mobile OS through its own patent purchasing stint. It also says it will make all out efforts to tackle what it dubbed as “anti-competitive” patent bids.

"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," David Drummond, senior vice president and chief legal officer at Google, wrote in an explosive blog post. [RELATED_ARTICLE]

The senior Google official says that the rivals have resorted to an “anti-competitive strategy” that is also leading to an unjustified escalation of the cost of patents. He, however, also acknowledges that Microsoft and Apple's winning bid worth USD 4.5 billion for Nortel's patent portfolio was approximately five times larger than the estimates of USD 1 billion. He says, “ 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."

Drummond was referring to the consortium of tech companies including Microsoft, Apple and RIM bagged the bid for the Nortel patents. Google had also bid for the Nortel patents but was outbid in spite of having offered a whopping USD 900 million.

The official also went on to say that the rivals were wanting to impose a “tax” for the dubious patents in Android OS and ultimately trying to escalate cost of Android based devices. “Instead of competing by building new features or devices, they are fighting through litigation,” he highlights.

Drummond's blog post comes in the backdrop of escalating patent wars between mobile phone companies. A number of known brands such as Apple, Nokia and Samsung are involved in patent tussles across the world. Moreover, Google's Android is one of the most popular mobile operating systems in the world. In a recent reports, Android was declared as the dominant smartphone OS in the world.

Of late we have seen Google's rivals overhauling their respective operating systems. One of the notable ones is Nokia's switch from Symbian to Windows Phone software. Google on other hand has been facing a tough time while dealing with a spate of patent-related lawsuits. Oracle sought some USD 17 million in damage in a lawsuit that accuses Google of infringing on patents related to Java, which Oracle had acquired after taking over Sun Microsystems in early 2010.

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