Microsoft says it tried to work with Google on buying patents, contradicting what Google wrote in a blistering blog post.
Earlier today, Google’s chief legal officer accused Microsoft and Apple of participating in a “hostile, organised campaign against Android,” being “waged through bogus patents.” He also claimed Apple and Microsoft bought the patents of Novell together “to make sure Google didn’t get them.”
In response, Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith tweeted, “Google says we bought Novell patents to keep them from Google. Really? We asked them to bid jointly with us. They said no.”
And to back up Brad Smith’s tweet, Microsoft communications chief Frank Shaw tweeted this email from Google’s general counsel to Microsoft’s general counsel showing Microsoft was willing to work with Google:
Photo: Frank Shaw, Microsoft
If you can’t read the small font on this image, it says:
Sorry for the delay in getting back to you — I came down with a 24-hour bug on the way back from San Antonio. After talking with people here, it sounds as though for various reasons a joint bid wouldn’t be advisable for us on this one. But I appreciate your flagging it, and we’re open to discussing other similar opportunities in the future.
I hope the rest of your travels go well, and I look forward to seeing you again soon.
Obviously, we’re only getting one half of the story in this case. We have no idea the scope of Microsoft’s offer to work with Google. And, from Google’s perspective, could it trust Microsoft in a bid?
Clearly, we’re just at the start of this war of words. We’re looking forward to seeing Google’s next response. Hopefully it has some emails it wants to share as well.
We reached out to Google for comment, and if we hear anything interesting will let you know.