It seems like we can’t go a week without hearing about some company suing over Android patents and it appears like Google has had enough. In a strongly-worded blog post, Google is calling these lawsuits an attack and it laid out its plan to counter this.
Android has gone from nothing to roughly 50 percent of the world’s smartphone operating system in just the span of a few years and Google has been a huge beneficiary of this as its mobile search division is already generating over $1 billion and that figure is expected to rise rapidly. That success has been met with stiff opposition in the market place and, increasingly, the court rooms.
Android has been attacked with patent infringement lawsuits but most of these haven’t been directed at Google itself but at Android handset makers like HTC or Samsung. Oracle is the only one going after Google directly in court due to Android-related patents.
Google said that it will continue to acquire patents as a defensive maneuver in a bid that’s colorfully called “mutually assured destruction” – Basically, if you sue Google or one of its Android partners it will sue you over other patents. The search giant also said that it is working with governmental agencies to ensure that recent patent purchases from competitors were obtained in a competitive way.
We’re not naive; technology is a tough and ever-changing industry and we work very hard to stay focused on our own business and make better products. But in this instance 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.
Google makes some good points here but it’s not alone with the patent attack, as every major mobile player is embroiled in some form of patent lawsuit. Is Android being unfairly targets? Perhaps but the larger issue is that the patent system may need to be reformed when it comes to software in order to avoid this type of situation. Let’s innovate, not litigate.