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In an open letter to the world today, Google Senior Vice President and Chief Legal Officer David Drummond decided to take a few moments and explain to all of us "what's happening" with regard to Apple, Microsoft, Android, how patents work, the free market economy, and the future of smartphones.
Drummond went to the mat early and often, reiterating the claim that 550,000 Android devices are activated every day, but then stating that this success spawned "a hostile, organized campaign against Android by Microsoft, Oracle, Apple and other companies, waged through bogus patents."
"Microsoft and Apple have always been at each other’s throats," he stated. "So when they get into bed together you have to start wondering what's going on."
Drummond went into detail, kind of, about how a smartphone may contain as many as 250,000 patents, that many of those patents were dubious, and that companies like Apple were using those questionable claims to stifle innovation and limit consumer choice.
"Instead of competing by building new features or devices, they are fighting through litigation," Drummond stated.
Drummond complained that Apple, Microsoft and other members of the Rockstar bidding group kept Google from buying the Nortel patents by outbidding them, and then in the same paragraph went on to state that those very patents (the ones Google bid over $3 billion dollars for) were only being "used as a weapon to stop" innovation.
Drummond alluded to possible antitrust issues for Apple, that the Department of Justice was looking into the Nortel deal, and that "fortunately, the law frowns on the accumulation of dubious patents for anti-competitive means."
Finally, so that we could all be clear on the motives of Google, Drummond stated that his company is "determined to preserve Android as a competitive choice for consumers, by stopping those who are trying to strangle it" and that "unless we act, consumers could face rising costs for Android devices — and fewer choices for their next phone."
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