Recently a lot of companies have been attacking each other in the courtroom, the most recent is more of a rumor from which Google has accused Apple, Microsoft, Oracle and a range of other companies of trying to make their Andriod phones more expensive by running what they call a “hostile, organised campaign” by using “bogus patents” that were acquired from Nortel in a recent bankruptcy.
Googles chief legal officer, David Drummend states the companies are imposing a ‘tax’ in order to push up the price of their Andriod devices, but I am not sure I think this might be a bit more of jealously from Google who were the only ones to not walk out with the patients at the recent Nortel auction, but I could see Apple doing something like this but I could not see them teaming up with rival companies especially Microsoft, who they have had a feud with for a long time.
Microsoft’s general counsel Brad Smith claimed that “Microsoft had invited Google to bid jointly for the Nortel patents – and was turned down. Representatives from Apple and Oracle declined to comment.”, Drummond had a bit more to say about the bogus patients, suggesting the companies are escalating the cost of patients beyond their actual worth, he also said:
“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”.
He also added: “Microsoft and Apple’s winning $4.5bn (£2.7bn) for Nortel’s patent portfolio was nearly five times larger than the pre-auction estimate of $1bn. 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.”The Nortal
The Nortal action in question ended in a consortium of owners including Microsoft, Apple and RIM all collectively own a range of Nortel’s patents, which cover a wide number of communications technologies against Google and Intel, but the real loser of this auction was Google who made a preliminary bid of $900m before the auction, but ended up being outbid despite their large reserves of cash. Drummond added:
“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.”
Via [The Guardian]
What do you think about this? Is what Google is claiming true? Would Apple ever team up with Microsoft?
Drop us a line or two in the comments below.