Google has fired back in its war of words with Microsoft.
If you missed it yesterday, Google accused Microsoft of participating in a hostile campaign against Android using bogus patents. It also said Microsoft and Apple were in cahoots trying to keep patents out of Google’s hands.
Microsoft responded by saying that’s b.s. It produced an email showing that it actually tried to work with Google on buying patents.
Well, today Google is responding to that by saying, Microsoft’s offer was a trap!
Here’s chief legal officer David Drummond’s official response from Google:
It’s not surprising that Microsoft would want to divert attention by pushing a false “gotcha!” while failing to address the substance of the issues we raised. If you think about it, it’s obvious why we turned down Microsoft’s offer. Microsoft’s objective has been to keep from Google and Android device-makers any patents that might be used to defend against their attacks. A joint acquisition of the Novell patents that gave all parties a licence would have eliminated any protection these patents could offer to Android against attacks from Microsoft and its bidding partners. Making sure that we would be unable to assert these patents to defend Android — and having us pay for the privilege — must have seemed like an ingenious strategy to them. We didn’t fall for it.
Ultimately, the U.S. Department of Justice intervened, forcing Microsoft to sell the patents it bought and demanding that the winning group (Microsoft, Oracle, Apple, EMC) give a licence to the open-source community, changes the DoJ said were “necessary to protect competition and innovation in the open source software community.” This only reaffirms our point: Our competitors are waging a patent war on Android and working together to keep us from getting patents that would help balance the scales.
And in response to this Microsoft PR man Frank Shaw said on Twitter:
Hello again David Drummond. This is going to take a few tweets, so here we go. Let’s look at what Google does not dispute in their reply.
We offered Google the opportunity to bid with us to buy the Novell patents; they said no.
Why? BECAUSE they wanted to buy something that they could use to assert against someone else.
SO partnering with others & reducing patent liability across industry is not something they wanted to help do
So, where are we? We’re sitting here with two mega corps bitching at each other in public, and neither is looking particularly good right now.
In our opinion, Google is looking silly. It tried to buy the patents so it could fight in this fight. But, it was too cheap, got out bid and now it’s trying a new tactic. This one will probably fail as well.
Microsoft looks pretty lame here too. No need to fight this one out in the public.