Google, Microsoft Air Patent Dispute in Public

Lora Bentley

Boy, Google just can't get enough media coverage these days, apparently. The company is declaring Microsoft, Apple, Oracle and other competitors have created a "conspiracy" against Android. Specifically, Google SVP and Chief Legal Officer David Drummond said:

Android's success has yielded ... a hostile, organized campaign against Android ... waged through bogus patents.

For Apple and Microsoft to get together on something, there has to be an ulterior motive, Drummond suggested, so their coalition to purchase the Novell patents has to be part of a larger plot to suffocate Google's mobile platform. According to InformationWeek, the blog post prompted a response from Microsoft via Twitter, where General Counsel Brad Smith said:

Google says we bought Novell patents to keep them from Google. Really? We asked them to bid jointly with us. They said no.

That, in turn, prompted Drummond to update his original blog post, which led to yet another Microsoft Twitter response. The whole thing has devolved into juvenile tomfoolery. TechCrunch's MG Siegler has kept up with the back-and-forth between the two, complete with Twitter screen shots. He says the third round of the fight, when nearly 9,000 InterDigital patents hit the market, will be the most intense - and entertaining - yet.


I can only imagine. But at the same time, I have to wonder how much of the public display of silliness, as my boss described it earlier today, is part of Microsoft's strategy to shape public perception without really having to get into the dispute's technical details. Like fellow IT Business Edge blogger Rob Enderle suggested in a recent post, Microsoft has long had a problem controlling perceptions. Maybe this is an attempt to take back some control.

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