Aug 3rd, 2011

Google’s finally getting a bit fired up, folks – they aren’t going to take this patent lashing lying down. I remember when Android was an exciting new operating system with loads of potential and little market penetration. No one messed with it, it messed with no one. And now it’s kicking the crap out of everyone else.

In today’s patent-filled world, the best way to compete is to go to court. It seems we can’t go a week without hearing of someone suing Google, commenting on Google’s “infringements” or aggressively pursue patents to help them slow Android’s meteoric rise.

The latest significant blow was from a consortium of technology companies – Microsoft, Apple, RIM, Sony and more – keeping the Nortel and Novell patents away from Google by outbidding them. Google’s now pursuing InterDigital’s patents and may see help from Samsung up against Apple.

Google says they plan to fight this “hostile, organized campaign against Android” by making sure anti-competition isn’t in play by their direct competitors purchasing these patents. We already know the deal, though – anti-competition certainly is in play.

Microsoft has recently sued OEMs using Android for patents they now own, asking from anywhere between $7-$15 for each Android phone sold by each infringing OEM. Apple, on the other hand, intends to block the sales of device’s infringing on their IPs and patents and have yet to offer reasonable settlement options.

One party I didn’t mention was Oracle. While their motives are far different from Microsoft and Apple’s, they too have a strong finger pointed at them. Oracle simply wants money, and that’s probably the only reason they acquired Sun Microsystems in the first place. I bet they wouldn’t give a damn if Android had as little market penetration as WebOS has had – a number so negligible that we often don’t know.

Google has recently formed a team of patent experts and lawyers to help win this battle that seems to be getting more difficult as each day goes on. Aside from InterDigital’s patents, their recent move has seen them purchasing over 1,000 patents from IBM, though it’s not clear whether or not a majority of these were acquired solely for defending Android.

We’re glad to see Google being aggressive about their most successful venture since Adwords and the Google Search Engine. Android deserves to be successful and punishing OEMs and Google because their competitors can’t seem to figure out how to beat them is as low as low can get. We look forward to the day where innovation prevails again and makes all of these patent trolls irrelevant, even if it does appear to be long off. Go Google! [Google]