Google Inc. has accused Apple, Oracle, Microsoft and other companies of running a “hostile, organized campaign” against it by using bogus patents acquired from Nortel to make Android smartphones more expensive.
David Drummond, Google’s chief legal officer and senior vice president, claims that the companies are imposing tax to increase the price of Android-powered devices. “Microsoft and Apple have always been at each other’s throats, so when they get into bed together you have to start wondering what’s going on,” wrote Drummond in an explosive blog post. He revealed that Google activates more than 550,000 Android devices per day through a network of 231 carriers and 39 manufacturers.
His remarks came after Apple succeeded in blocking the launch of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia. Apple accused Samsung of infringing 10 Apple patents, including the touch screen technology and the “look and feel” of the iPad.
Apple is suing its South Korean counterpart in nine other countries, and launched legal attacks against Motorola and HTC for allegedly stealing their ideas and infringing its patents with Android phones. Google itself faces patent-related lawsuits from Oracle, claiming that Google’s Android OS infringes its Java patents.
Brad Smith, Microsoft’s general counsel, fired back with a tweet that says: “Google says we bought Novell patents to keep them from Google. Really? We asked them to bid jointly with us. They said no.”
Google has not confirmed this, but if ever it is true, it will greatly weaken the company’s attempt to get the higher moral ground.