In Google’s latest official blog post, their chief legal officer and senior VP, David Drummond, details the suspicious anti-competitive practices being used by Apple, Microsoft, Oracle, and others against Google. Earlier this year, the companies banded together to purchase Novell and Nortel’s patents “to make sure Google didn’t get them“, and are looking to charge Google a $15 licensing fee for every Android device.
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.
The patent system has long been criticized in the tech world due to blatant abuse by companies like Lodsys (and now Apple and Co.). HTC may even be forced to stop selling devices due to a recent patent dispute with Apple, and if the current trend continues, legal battles will hinder innovation to a point where companies are locked in a stalemate.
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.