Aug 03 AT 4:49 PM Dustin Earley 19 Comments

Google goes on the record with complaints about patents


It’s been no secret in recent months that Android has drawn enough attention to become the centerpiece for several ongoing patent-related lawsuits. While the numbers constantly show Android leading the pack in smartphone growth again and again, Google’s patent portfolio is severely lacking compared to their competitors. Today David Drummond, Google Senior Vice President and Chief Legal Officer, took to the Official Google Blog to call those competitors out for stifling innovation and fighting with their patents instead of their products.

The reason behind the rant is rather simple. Apple and Microsoft have teamed up (two companies who have “always been at each other’s throats”) to purchase Novell and Nortel’s patent portfolios in order to suck money out of Android manufacturers and slow competition. While this isn’t really news for anyone who keeps up with Android, this is the first time Google has gone on the complete offensive and called the “Rockstar” group of patent trolls out:

...Android and other platforms are competing hard against each other, and that’s yielding cool new devices and amazing mobile apps for consumers.

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

...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.

...Unless we act, consumers could face rising costs for Android devices – and fewer choices for their next phone. David DrummondGoogle

With 231 carriers and 39 manufacturers activating some 550,000 Android devices every single day, it’s no wonder companies like Apple, Microsoft and Oracle are willing to fight back any way they can. It’s about time Google stood up for themselves and let the world know they will not be defeated by underhanded shady business tactics. Keep fighting the good fight, Google. You’ve got plenty of diehard users willing to back you up.

Source: Official Google Blog

Dustin Earley: Tech enthusiast; avid gamer; all around jolly guy.

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    Get those gloves out Google and get your chin ready.. Its going to be a 15 round battle for the belt.. Your almost there! We have your back as a community and will continue to support your products! Your no longer the underdog , your a championship contender. Do not rest until the belt is yours !

    • Dustin Earley

      *clap………. clap….. clap… clap.. clap clap clap*

      • DiscussAndroid

        Standing up “CLAPPING”. with some “Whistling”

        • Felix

          *Stands up and bows*

  • Anton Spaans

    I wonder what Google’s plan of attack is. Play along (with a patent war-chest) or really fight it?

    I’m growing to hate the (software) patent process more and more. The patent bureau accepts/accepted any patent that was half decently written (but likely utterly trivial or crap) and it lets the courts fight out which ones are real or not real. This makes patents nothing more than bullets in the war-chests of this arm’s race which is fought out in courts.

    Nobody but lawyers get rich. Tons of money is spent on (bad) patents, both through acquiring them, fighting them and defending them. In the end, consumers will pay for it.

    It also stifles innovation. Smaller companies can’t create something new without the significant risk to get sued that may be too costly for them.

  • Jonathan Harford

    Fighting patents with patents is par for the course. I’m much more interested in hearing how Google is fighting the horrible patent system. Y’all have listened to “When Patents Attack”, right?


  • tariq

    It seems that google has put the fear of god into the hearts of those miserable miserable so called competitors. Guess what they can’t compete. And they will never be able to compete. Whatever dirty tricks they try to use, one thing is for sure. Aneroid will inshaallah be the last man standing in the ring. And then there will be no more competitors, because there never were any, just a bunch of blood sucking freaks talking advantage of unsuspecting people who put their faith in them and getting done left right and center. Well the games up and they don’t like it one little bit. Long live android and may it prosper like never before. May the force of god be with you.

  • Duncs970

    It’s obvious were at a forefront within the computing industry, has both Microsoft, Oracle and Apple hit a wall, or is Google’s constant expanse, development and evolution of there products such as Android pushing these companies to hard, making them have to push out devices to often and cause no real innovation in their products. The ipad 2 only really came out because Android’s Honeycomb at the time of release demanded a more advance device to run it. So the ipad 2 was created and its only advancement from the first was to be on the same level as the first entry devices of Android. Now that the Android devices are out, where lead to believe that Apple is pushing out yet another Tablet at the end of there year. I kind of feel bad for Apple fan boy’s having to constantly spend money to have their latest creation from this company. But are we just seeing products rushed to the market with minimal advancement because instead of pushing the envelop there just treading water trying to say afloat in a now more competitive market place.

    If we look at other competitive markets where evolution has haltered or has slowed down, such as the car market, yes engines are getting better and we get more for our money, but aren’t some of these companies just trying to stay in the game more then evolve there products. One offers theirs with Mag wheels, this one does the same but now with a cup holder too, then another with two cup holders and so on and so forth. Yes I am offering a very generalized look at this, and I’m sure people will point out to be how we now have safer and more efficient cars. But what I’m getting at is that it took another company to come into the market with a fresh idea on an old product (aka Google with Android) and push the market forward in development, Idea’s and advancement.

    To some up, Apple use to be the cool kid of the industry with way out there ideas and amazing products, now it seems that the competition has gotten closer, and they aren’t seen as that cool trendy company anymore, they have developed into well just another company in the market offering another version of they same idea, and I think their running scared and making irrational decisions. If the tables were turned and Google was halting Apple Products, wouldn’t there be an up roar too. I even think Android fans would be saying “not cool Google, aren’t you meant to be all about openness and so on and so forth (yes i really like that saying, so on and so forth).”

    Anyway I’m sure people are going to bag this out and I would get a few Apple fans telling me I’m wrong, but that’s ok, cause without opinions and a fresh look at this situations, we too would be in abit of a stale mate.

    All I can say is, Apple your hurting yourself here by doing this.

    • Derek

      Google didnt innovate with Android, the copied Apple and stole from Sun. They know it. Andy Rubin told his bosses to license from Sun, they refused. They willfully infringed on Sun’s patents and now they’re about to get burned by it.

  • Sean the Electrofreak

    The fact is that a lot of patents have been given to various companies that shouldn’t have been given out.

    Take a look at this article, it covers some of the broad, sweeping patents that Apple has that are anti-competitive.

    It’s kind of like if the US patent office had allowed Ford to patent having 4 wheels on a car. It forces other manufacturers to either break the patent and face legal action or produce a device that is unable to compete.

    Patents should be issued for specific designs or concepts that a company to use to gain an edge in an industry via innovation. But patenting a concept like the ability for a smartphone processor to conserve power by downclocking or sleeping essentially allows no competition. Who will buy a phone that will not run for more than 30 minutes, or one that has a battery pack literally the size of a brick in order to run for the day?

  • aj

    that picture and the other related pictures connected to the other patent trolls always crack me up.

  • rich

    I read an interesting article that talked about google buying or partnering with Motorola mobile, I guess Sanjay has made some comments recently that have lead some to believe this might happen. With the hire of Andy Rubin’s danger buddies and a Motorola acquisition we could get some sweet nexus phones and protect android with Motorola’s patent portfolio, it would be awesome if this was really happening, it would be the best way for google to get out of this mess, but I highly doubt it will happen

  • havi007

    tried of these patent trolls, lets get this shit settled in court fix the patent laws

  • Mr Guzz

    Those so call “Big Corp” are just became a Patent Trolls just like the “Little Fake Patent Trolls”…. ‘cos can not Compete Fairly enough Vs. Big Daddy GOOGLE !!!

  • Raithlin

    So… according to WPCentral, Microsoft offered to bid alongside Google. Google turned them down.

    • Derek

      Yep, sure did. M$ offered to team up with Google first, to go after Apple, yet they declined. Now they’re whining about it. It’s all very petty.

  • Leonick

    I am deeply disappointed in you (this site), Android blog (and fans) or not you should still be able to see that what David here is spewing is bullshit.
    Just like Intel, Ericsson, Microsoft and Apple, Google has also been bidding for these patents and all for the same reasons.

    1. They all have products that these patents apply too.
    *They want the patents to protect the products that the apply to.
    *They all likely also want to be able to get some licensing fees for anyone else with products that the patents apply to.
    2. There are patents in this bunch that could be useful in future products.

    I love my Android device (and my iOS devices) but that doesn’t mean I think Google (or Apple, Microsoft or any other company for that sake) can do no wrong, right now Google behaves like a little kid that lost a fight he started and now he is running to his mom to cry.
    Patents work the same for everyone, there are rules to play by and they apply to Apple as well as Google… Google should stop crying about it, if they are so superior, what are they so worried about…

  • Derek

    This is just more whining by google. If you follow the Oracle v. Google lawsuit you know that lead developer Andy Rubin emailed his bosses and recommended they license java from sun at the time. They ignored his emails and they basically stole from Sun. The judge in the case told the Google lawyers to settle out of court because they would lose badly with Rubin on the stand and this email in evidence. It proves willful infringement and Oracle could ask the judge to force Google to cease all android development, it would be the end of Android altogether. Google knows they’re in the wrong and they’ve been getting hammered lately in patent lawsuits.

    Also, google bid on those same novel and nortel patents, they were just outbid by apple and M$. Fair is fair. Google wanted them just as badly so they could sue Apple and M$. If they had bid a little bit more they’d have them now. Google is now aggressively going after the Insight patents and have bragged they have $40billion in cash and cash equivalents to spend, but Apple has over twice that and if they add M$ too, then they have over $100billion in cash and cash equivalents to spend. Google knows there’s no way they can keep up. Hence, the whining, and the begging for governmental intrusion into the fair market system. Google complains that this patent trolling stifles innovation, yet they didnt innovate a G.D thing, they just outright stole from Sun.

  • xXZairisXx

    The points of patents are of course to protect ones intellectual property and spur innovation through competition but with that same breath patents stagnate innovation because you have individual companies with large amounts of money sitting on a needle in a hay stack. Now I use that term because the us patent system has so many ideas written differently that fundamentally are the same DAMN thing with very few if any differences but wording.

    So I come up with an idea that I can’t figure out what to do with or how to market it in a current product or future one…..Soooo I send it to the corn fields with all my other junk and spew out a few more useful ideals and others that amount to cow DUNG until someone comes across a way to use the ideal property then I jump up and say ” HEY that’s my idea your using and I want compensation”.

    I’m an imaginative person and come up with all sorts of ideals but this is truthfully a sad way of life… Its a double edge sword where all sides have valid points and we kill the very thought of innovation that we claim to spur onward. Innovation is a broad thing, it can be its own ideal or the combination of a few to make a new one, all things copy or mimic in the beginning its a guideline in the universe of gaining knowledge from the human race to the animal kingdom.

    Now like the very things we create our system needs an evolved approach in the right direction so we don’t snuff out our own flames of creation.