Microsoft has revealed that it feels Google is ”standing on the shoulders” of other people’s work with its Android devices.
Horacio Gutiérrez, deputy general counsel in charge of the Microsoft Corporation’s worldwide intellectual property and licensing group, has revealed his true feelings for Google’s work with Android. In an interview with SFGate, Gutiérrez explains that Microsoft’s 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 revealed that one of the biggest, Samsung, has signed a patent protection deal. Microsoft revealed last week that over half of all Android device manufacturers have now entered into a patent deal with Microsoft.
“Licensing is not some nefarious thing that people should be worried about,” explained Gutiérrez. “Licensing is, in fact, the solution to the patent problem that people are reacting so negatively about.” In the interview with SFGate, Gutiérrez also hints at some of the technologies that are involved in Microsoft’s patent battles. The company has traditionally kept these secret, with third parties playing the guessing game to work out which patents Microsoft’s includes in its claims:
“There are a number of technologies that have to do with really critical features that make smart phones what they are today. For example, the ability to synchronize the content that you have in your phone with the information in the server of your company or in your computer at home.
But then there are all these other features that just make the phone much more efficient, things that are embedded deeply in the operating system. Microsoft has invested for decades more money than anyone else in research and development directed toward the efficiency of operating systems. These devices have moved from having a rudimentary phone system to being a full-fledged computer, with a sophisticated, modern operating system.”
Microsoft’s investments in research and development mean that Google and others are just using these innovations freely according to Microsoft. Gutiérrez explains that Google ”have really stood on the shoulder of companies like Microsoft who made all these billions of dollars in investments.” 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.