Microsoft has hit back at accusations levelled by Google that it and Apple are indulging in attempts to buy up patents in order to stymy smartphone development and levy a “tax” on Android phones.
Google’s Chief Legal Officer, David Drummond, used the search giant’s official blog, to claim Microsoft and Apple were “banding together” to buy patents from Novell, “…to make sure Google didn’t get them.”
In response, Microsoft lawyer Brad Smith took to Twitter, saying, “Google says we bought Novell patents to keep them from Google. Really? We asked them to bid jointly with us. They said no.”
Apple and Microsoft say they bid for the patents together in order to stop smaller companies and individuals suing them in the future.
Smith’s assertion that Microsoft asked Google to come on board appears to be backed up by an email revealed by Microsoft communications chief Frank Shaw, sent from Google lawyer Kent Walker. In it, Walker says, “After talking with people here (Google), it sounds as though for various reasons a joint bid wouldn't be advisable for us on this one.” That suggests Google was keen initially and will doubtless fuel the debate about why the Big G has written such an inflammatory piece about its competitors.
What will Google’s response be to these Microsoft claims? Stay tuned and we’ll bring you all the details we get them.