We've heard the cries. "Why isn't Google fighting back on the patent front?!?!" Trust us, there are people in suits working on this every day. And today David Drummond, senior vice president and Google's chief legal officer, penned a blog post explaining what's going on, saying:

Android’s success has yielded something else: a hostile, organized campaign against Android by Microsoft, Oracle, Apple and other companies, waged through bogus patents.

Drummond recaps what you've likely already read -- that Microsoft, Apple and others worked together (or ganged up, depending on who you ask) to outbid Google for suites of patents from Nortel and Novell, plus the spate of lawsuits demanding licensing fees for every handset -- or demanding that they not be allowed into the United States at all.

So what's Google doing about it? Drummond's post doesn't really say anything we didn't expect, calling the bidding process an "anti-competitive strategy" that caused the winning price of the patents -- $4.5 billion -- to go way over what they're actually worth, and that "the law frowns on the accumulation of dubious patents for anti-competitive means." He continues that Google's lobbying the Justice Department to investigate the patent auction for anti-competitive practices, which it's rumored to be doing, and that Google's going to beef up its own patent portfolio, which it's also said to have been working on.

While you should read the entire post (link's below), we find zero surprises in any of that. Question remains: How will it play out?

Source: Google Blog


Reader comments

Google's chief legal officer calls patent war 'a hostile, organized campaign against Android'


Apple, RIM, & Microsoft are running scared. They simply can't keep up with Android's growth (a new OS update released every 6-9 months, & handset manufacturers outdoing each other EVERY MONTH!)

Their only option (since they apparently can't beat Android with product/software innovation) was to join forces & sue.

Funny stuff.

The only thing funny is your logic. Sure they release new OS all the time, but they are being put on any phones. Froyo is still on over 50% of all android phones and it is over 1 year old.

And you people still don't get apple. They have never cared about market share and never will. They care about making money. And they are making regardless of the release of android OS and handsets. So please don't think apple is scared of anything.

Also this article reads to me like Google is just mad they their cute little bids lost out to the folks with the bigger check book. If you can't put up the cash then don't go to the auction.

"They care about making money" .. haha, of course they do, as do Google (except through search). You don't think that lower market share might affect profits though? Apple are looking into the future, and as things are going see lower profits, and are fighting a legal battle to try and slow it from happening, rather than innovating to try and keep the advantage they previously had.

"they only care about making money" duh, of course, their marketing campaign targets on those with low self-esteem, the kind who think that they HAVE TO HAVE the latest gadget to stay relevant and not look like a backwoods hillbilly.

i know a mac user who hates apple's marketing campaign. and thinks the exact same thing i do. they tell you all this features, and there are technologicly dumb people who seriously think the iPad will sync with any HD tv. yeah, if the tv has bluetooth or wifi. which not everyone has, damnit, people are just getting an HDTV in parts of the country, man.

Some of these patents are just plain non sense, wanna fix it, buy all the screen manufacturer's and then don't sell to Microsoft, or Apple. Or team up with Samsung and Rim.... then start counter suing. Who knows, Apple is scared and doing whatever they can....

I highly doubt Apple is running scared... they are the profit leader in the smartphone space...
This just looks like Google is a sore loser for not winning those Nortel Patents...

Oh, please. Do you really think Google's bid for the patents was serious? They bid Pi ($3.14159.... Billion). It was just an initial offering. Google could have had those patents if they REALLY wanted to get them.

Also, it makes me laugh that people always quote how "they are the profit leader in the smartphone space". You know that all that means is they overcharge for their devices & have a dedicated following of sheep who buy the yearly upgrade, right?

They are scared because those "yearly upgrades" are now to the point where even they don't match what Android is already doing. I give Apple credit for making a great device that was ahead of it's time & jump-started the industry, but that's it. Them controlling ALL development (both hardware & software) is showing now to be a HORRIBLE business model because they can't keep up with the pace of Android & all the manufacturer's who build phones for it.

Do you really think Google's bid for the patents was serious? They bid Pi ($3.14159.... Billion). It was just an initial offering. Google could have had those patents if they REALLY wanted to get them.

So why are they complaining that companies teamed up against them. If they "really wanted" them, they should have bid correctly. If they "didn't really want" them, then they shouldn't complain that someone else won.

Also, it makes me laugh that people always quote how "they are the profit leader in the smartphone space". You know that all that means is they overcharge for their devices & have a dedicated following of sheep who buy the yearly upgrade, right?

Interesting. Make a product. Sell it for as much as the market will stomach. Make more than any single company in the same space. Get repeat customers every year.

Sounds like a profit leader in the smartphone space to matter how hard you laugh.

Them controlling ALL development (both hardware & software) is showing now to be a HORRIBLE business model because they can't keep up with the pace of Android & all the manufacturer's who build phones for it.

Sure, they'll never be able to keep up with the Android Army in terms of marketshare. But look at the money they are making. They are making more than any single Android OEM and are making more than many of those OEM even if you combine them. It doesn't mean they are better or worse than Android. But it DOES mean it is a success story no matter how you slice it.

Look, no-one is scared of anyone. This made-up nonsense really needs to stop.

um, if you are referring to me, I don't have an iphone, only an iPad.I use an EVO... but that doesn't make me a fanboy of any company..i'm just looking at this objectively.
The facts speak for themselves...
Something else... Google says Microsoft bought the Novell patents to keep them away from Google, if so, then why did Microsoft ask them to bid jointly with them for those which Google turned them down.
Google is not making any sense with this blog post.

I will never buy or recommend Apple products based on their high prices, closed system, anti-competitive behavior and overseas labor practices. Wake up people they may make some great products but what they are becoming is not attractive or sustainable. They should get slapped down for this patent issue.

maybe if Google stop stealing patens and copy rights , lol ...

"Why isn't Google fighting back on the patent front?!?!"

Hmm because its a FREE open source... and that normally means No patent.

so if i understand this correctly ( correct me if im wrong dont just be a fan boy. )-->

but what Most people like about android is the free open source and that they can basically do what they want with the phone ,

but yet you complain about Stealing other companies Patent then call it * a hostile, organized campaign*

is this not controversy the the OS!? If google starts fighting back and starts putting Paten to Protect companies like Samsung and HTC .

you can say BEY Bye to Open source and the word FREE…… no to mention the entire advantage of the Droid OS! They would have to BAN half the Apps and remove half the technologies.

ALSO! keep in mind , apple is also suing MS , ms is Suing Apple .. and they are also both suing Android . so this is not a hostile battle VS android .. android is getting lawyers and…… MOBILE WORLD WAR!!!

and if MS dint Fight apple back ( with the wp7 ) Apple was basically trying to create a MONOPOLY in the Smartphone world.(tech wise) I hope android fights back , but for all your Fan boy this might actually be worst for you.

The winner for the most un-intelligible post in recent memory. No need to respond to your perceived 'facts' if we can't quite follow your train of thought.

oks o being right make me an idiot?

do a quick search on your GOOGLE phone for Paten VS open source. read a little on LAWS ... you guys clearly still in pe-school

two words: proofread and dictionary

it's really hard to read your post, and it's even harder to take you seriously if you repeatedly misspelled when you are telling people to "read a little on laws" when you repeatedly misspelled "patent".

i am sorry but your probably more techno-phobic then my parents generation. not to put them down but you called android the droid OS? what do you really think Motorola invented android in the first place?, because you really sure make it sound like they did. or maybe its just the slang terms these kids use today..

oh thats right i should not be feeding the trolls in the first place >_>

Apple values margin over market share, but those goals converge at some point. I think Apple is a lot more terrified of Android than is apparent. Apple's notifications in iOS 5 are a lot like Android. Apple branded its syncing service as "the cloud" when it's conceptually different than Google's offerings. It's rumored to be releasing another iteration of iPad (just look at the floor space the Android tablets take up in a Best Buy next time you're there). Android is forcing Apple to iterate more quickly than Apple is used to doing, and I don't think Apple likes it.

"I os 5 androis Notification was all taken from MS .. LOL . why you think droid pays MS . and MS is suing Apple ,"

that makes no sense... Microsoft isn't suing Apple.
Droid is a Verizon Wireless brand, and Verizon Wireless isn't paying anything to Microsoft for Android(they do have an agreement to put Bing on some phones, but that extends beyond just Android Smartphones.)Verizon Wireless does pay Lucasfilm for the rights to use the Droid term.
don't have a clue what that first part means.

MS is or was Counter suing apple , apple is suing MS on 2 paten terms ( witch will probly be turned down )

second: Verizon doesnt own android ,

third: samsung and HTC need to pay MS for every Android phone they sell.5$-15$ per phone sold.

Apple has exhibited this behavior before in the 80's & 90's against Microsoft & we all know how that turned out. It's just a matter of time, which I believe is fast approaching, that Apple out prices it's consumers. I don't care how nice their products are to look at & hold, which is subjective, I can do so much more on a PC than I can a Mac. Same is true for Android over an iPhone like the Droid X2 I'm using now. The drum beat I hear from the die hard Apple fanatic is that "Apples products just work." Well so does other tech products at a better price in most cases. This 'Patent War' such as it is evolving into is Apple fearing customers choosing the alternative over them.

Stealing innovation and patent wars are both negative toward us, the consumers. There must be a balance to be found that allows advances in this revolution while also guarding the rewards of those that innovate.

The main thing that concerns me is that innovation can be purchased.

If Apple or Google or Microsoft or RIM didn't innovate the stuff then they shouldn't be allowed to buy it or own it. If Nortel had it then the patent should die with them.

Maybe ignorant, but it seems like a business practice that serves very little positive benefit to the majority.

You could offer me a new I-Phone and I would say no thanks I have a new Sensation and a Thunderbolt. You could offer me a new I-Pad and I would say no thanks I have a new 10.1 Android. Apple products are for the clowns that don't understand or know any better. If you enjoy being told what, when and where then Apple is for you. If you enjoy open-source then the world of Android is a must. Once you go Android you will NEVER go back. Apple is just comic relief IMO, they are just stepping on their own toes and that is just a very sad thing. Jobs has lost his grip and I think his mind.

Not to turn this political, but did you hear as part of Obama's job creation ideas, that patent reform is now on his list? We definitely need it and if Obama thinks it will win him political points, good for the tech industry.

The original idea of patents was to encourage innovation. Today, patents are used for just the opposite. That is your government tax dollars working for (against) us!

The question remains, if these patents are "bogus" as Google contends here, then why did they try to buy them? Google was the one that made the first "stalking horse" bid for the Nortel patents back in April, which set the stage for the final auction. Would these patents have been bogus if they had won them?
You also can't say that if Google had won them, they wouldn't have sued companies for violating those patents, because they would have had a duty to defend them, otherwise they lose the rights to them..
Sore Loser Google!

I don't believe so, to date I have yet to see Google go after anyone directly, and even more so, Android Handset makers are COUNTER SUING MS/Apple after suits had already been brought up against them. Google is simply covering its bases, which is the best thing to do. Lobby for patent reform, but knowing our government is slow to do anything (they can barely agree on a friggin' budget), cover your butt buy increasing your patent portfolio. Google wants patents not to be like MS or Apple and go lawsuit crazy. Why would they? They are legitimately beating them through innovation and market saturation, they don't need to litigate, that would only slow them up. They will buy these patents (and I hope they win) purely for a defensive stance. Think "Ok Apple, you want to sue me over these 3 patents, we will counter sue you over these other 3 patents". You make it unattractive to bring up lawsuits by assuring mutual destruction.

Apple bein a cash cow isn't necessarily a good thing. Means no investing, r&d, innovation. The fact that products are released in annual piece meal shows how Androids model outpaces Apple. Apple sits on cash sure because of this. Milking is more the term to use for apple. Each iphone model shows how Apple milks its userbase with lil upgrades to each product. Where Android phones are stuffed like pigs iphones are anorexic supermodels.

For months now people in the tech industry have been saying all these suits against HTC, Motorola etc are proxy suits against Google. I for one have been a firm believer of this.

Im not surprised Google said this.

you can't use logic with an apple fanboy.

the best way to explain it to them is using the car industry as an example. better yet, the luxury auto industry as an example. you have these established european brands that were and still are the cream of the crop. BMW, Mercedes-Benz and more recently Audi. they scream prestige. they all also claim to be the "fastest growing" luxury auto maker. they also sell very similar products and basically create market segments at the expense of one another purely for the sport of constant one-up-manship. Mercedes-Benz alone, spends 6.1 Billion Euros a YEAR on R&D. when they blatantly copied BMW's iDrive system, you don't see BMW flipping a shit. they build a better car in return. because what's a Mercedes C-Class, BMW 3-Series or an Audi A4 in the end anyway? they've all got 4 wheels. they've all got the same way to operate the controls. they're all loaded with features. they even come in the same damn colour. you could even get them all in the same color, yet an alien would know the difference. they're all essentially trying to achieve the same goal, they just arrive at that goal in very different ways.

Google isn't a sore loser by any means, what's the first search engine you think of when you need to find something? whether its on your pc or mac, or whatever smartphone you have.

innovate, don't litigate.

that quote is constantly taken out of context and wildly misunderstood.

When he says great artists steal he means that instead of COPYING the art exactly, they STEAL the great idea of the original and improve upon it to create something different or new (but somehow based upon the an idea from old art). So it's really a quote about innovation and progress, not theft or plagiarism.