Earlier today, Google has posted a message on its corporate blog explaining how Microsoft, Apple and other high-profile companies ganged up to buy Novell patents with the goal of attacking Android or handset makers using Android. Such legal activities ultimately stifles innovation, Google said.

This open letter was published by a Google executive, in a context of where HTC has to pay Microsoft royalties on Android devices it makes, and in which Samsung had to stop the sales of Galaxy Tab tablets in Australia. If you missed it, you can catch up by reading our previous post: Google, A Patent Victim, Really?

Microsoft replied with a simple Tweet: “Google says we bought Novell patents to keep them from Google. Really? We asked them to bid jointly with us. They said no.”

At the moment, Google has not confirmed or denied this, but if this is true, it would weaken Google’s attempt to get the higher moral ground. In the meantime, it seems likely that a war of word will continue in the short term as a conclusion in a court of law is likely to take much longer. What do you think?

Update: here’s the email conversation between Google and Microsoft about having Google join the patent bid (Source):


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.


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