Google just hit a hammer....on their foot

Oh Google, what have you done, don't you know that People who live in glass houses (shouldn't throw stones). 

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.

“Google says we bought Novell patents to keep them from Google. Really? We asked them to bid jointly with us. They said no,” Brad Smith, Microsoft General Counsel tweeted out in response.

Damn. Shit just got real.

Just in case that wasn’t enough, Frank Shaw, Microsoft Head of Communications, followed up with the real heat-seeker. “Free advice for David Drummond – next time check with Kent Walker before you blog. :) ,” Shaw tweeted, referring to another Google SVP and General Counsel. Attached to that tweet was the picture of an email Walker apparently sent to Smith on October 28, 2010. It reads as follows:

Brad –

Sorry for the delay in getting back to you — I came down with a 24-hour bug on the way back from San Antonio. After talking with people here, it sounds as though for various reasons a joint bid wouldn’t be advisable for us on this one. But I appreciate your flagging it, and we’re open to discussing other similar opportunities in the future.

I hope the rest of your travels go well, and I look forward to seeing you again soon.

– Kent


Other notable response from Daring Fireball - Google: Patently Absurd.

My 2 cents - This is a case of sour grapes for Google. They bid for Novell patents and went upto $3.14Billion to buy these and when they were unsuccessful they are crying foul. They know that Android has lesser chances of survival without paying the patent fees it has used or getting sued for the ones its infringed upon. It will be tough for Google without such patents in their pocket.