Google: Patent disputes are about 'strangling' Android

Google: Patent disputes are about 'strangling' AndroidIn a lot of cases, official company blogs make for fairly dull reading, and simply sing the praises of the company in question in biased and blinkered tones.

Well, leave aside biased and blinkered, but the official Google blog certainly isn't dull at the latest reading, with senior vice-president and chief legal officer David Drummond having made the extraordinary claim that Microsoft and Apple are trying to “strangle” Android through litigation.

Let's be clear here: we're certainly no fans of the current wave of patent disputes and licensing agreements that are dominating the headlines. But we have to question Drummond's version of events as laid out in his post on the Google blog.

Drummond reckons Apple and Microsoft have laid aside their traditional bickering to team up in a spate of patent-purchasing and legal sniping with the primary aim of curtailing Android's development, knowing that they can't compete when it comes to pure innovation.

“Patents were meant to encourage innovation, but lately they are being used as a weapon to stop it,” Drummond writes. “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.”

It's an interesting view of things, no doubt fuelled by frustration at just how many lawsuits are flying around. But it's hardly a strategy aimed purely at Android. Nokia, for instance, is making plenty of cash off a licensing agreement with Apple – it's just the way the world works these days.

Still, at least it's not dull.

Read more about: AndroidiOSWindows Phone

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