A Google lawyer has claimed that Microsoft uses the patent system when its products “stop succeeding.”
Tim Porter, Google’s patent counsel, made the claim in a recent interview with the San Francisco Chronicle. Porter claims Microsoft’s patent litigation is distracting for firms that manufacture Android devices and leads to less innovation. He also reveals that Google feels Microsoft is simply using its patent portfolio to squeeze money from other successful products:
“Unfortunately, the way it works is you don’t know what patents cover until courts declare that in litigation. What that means is people have to make decisions about whether to fight or whether to reach agreements.
This is a tactic that Microsoft has used in the past, with Linux, for example. When their products stop succeeding in the marketplace, when they get marginalized, as is happening now with Android, they use the large patent portfolio they’ve built up to get revenue from the success of other companies’ products.”
The claims follow a lengthly verbal debate between both companies. Microsoft’s deputy general counsel, Horacio Gutiérrez, recently revealed that he feels Google is ”standing on the shoulders” of other people’s work with its Android devices. Microsoft claims its efforts to force vendors to pay royalties for their Android devices is part of a healthy solution to the patent conflicts. Microsoft has been working with a large number of Android manufacturers and recently announced that one of the biggest, Samsung, has signed a patent protection deal. Microsoft revealed recently that over half of all Android device manufacturers have now entered into a patent deal with Microsoft.
Microsoft has previously inked patent protection deals with Wistron, General Dynamics Itronix,Velocity Micro, Onkyo, Acer, Viewsonic, Quanta and Samsung. The deals reflect Microsoft’s efforts developing new products. Microsoft is also chasing Motorola for a similar Android patent deal. Google announced in August that it plans to acquire Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion. Google CEO Larry Page noted at the time of the deal announcement that Microsoft and Apple are “banding together in anti-competitive patent attacks on Android.” Google hopes its move to purchase Motorola Mobility will better protect Android in the future.