After Samsung became the latest Android handset manufacturer to agree to a licensing deal that will see them paying Microsoft a fee on every smartphone sold, Google wasn’t too pleased. Strongly believing that legal battles, patents, and licensing deals do nothing but stifle innovation, the technology giant behind the Android OS issued a statement chastising Microsoft for their attempts to “extort” makers of Android devices.
“This is the same tactic we’ve seen time and again from Microsoft. Failing to succeed in the smartphone market, they are resorting to legal measures to extort profit from others’ achievements and hinder the pace of innovation. We remain focused on building new technology and supporting Android partners.”
Microsoft’s Frank Shaw was quick to fire back, tweeting his own take on Google’s statement condensed “48 words to 1: Waaaah.” He further pointed to a Microsoft blog post in which the following text can be found:
“We recognize that some businesses and commentators – Google chief among them – have complained about the potential impact of patents on Android and software innovation. To them, we say this: look at today’s announcement. If industry leaders such as Samsung and HTC can enter into these agreements, doesn’t this provide a clear path forward?”
Legally, Microsoft has every right to demand fees from manufacturers, as evidenced by the numerous Android partners already paying out to the computer software powerhouse. Google simply maintains a utopian view of the tech world, one driven by innovation rather than money. That’s an easy stance to take when you hold an almost limitless supply of cash, but sadly reality differs slightly. As much as we agree with Google’s ideals, perhaps its time to stop playing the victim and take a proactive approach to the patent feeding frenzy currently creating nightmares for Android hardware manufacturers.
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