Google slams anti-Android 'hostile campaign' of 'bogus patents'

Calls Microsoft, Apple and Oracle moves anti-competitive
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Google hit back at rivals targeting the firm's free Android mobile operating system, calling the action a "hostile, organized campaign against Android by Microsoft, Oracle, Apple and other companies, waged through bogus patents."

Google legal chief David Drummond posted a strongly worded criticism of patents on the Google blog, highlighting the long rivalry between Apple and Microsoft and questioning why the firms were now cooperating in patent attacks on Google.

"Android is on fire. More than 550,000 Android devices are activated every day, through a network of 39 manufacturers and 231 carriers," Drummond said, adding that Android's popularity was resulting in "cool new devices and amazing mobile apps for consumers."

Drummond slammed Apple, Microsoft and Oracle for a hostile and organised campaign such as the acquisition of the Nortel patent portfolio by a "rockstar" group of Android competitors fearful, Drummond claims, of Android's success.

The move is aimed at introducing a 'tax' on Android handsets, raising their price compared with iOS and Windows Phone rivals.

"They want to make it harder for manufacturers to sell Android devices. Instead of competing by building new features or devices, they are fighting through litigation," Drummond said.

Florian Meuller recently suggested that Apple would deny licensing of patents in dispute with Android handset manufacturer HTC, thus causing an expensive redesign or withdrawal of Android products.

However Drummond pointed out that US lawmakers frowned upon the "accumulation of dubious patents for anti-competitive means" and welcomed a recent US DoJ move to force the patent group to licence patents. The DoJ is examining the Nortel patent group for just such anti-trust issues.

"We thought it was important to speak out and make it clear that we’re determined to preserve Android as a competitive choice for consumers, by stopping those who are trying to strangle it."

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