The Washington Post

Google trading more blows in patent fight

Google criticized Microsoft for its ‘gotcha!’ response to its patent concerns. (TONY AVELAR/BLOOMBERG)

To recap, Google’s chief legal officer, David Drummond, sent a shot across the bow of Apple, Microsoft and Oracle, accusing them of participating in an “organized campaign” to take Google’s Android platform down through patent lawsuits.

Microsoft’s general counsel Brad Smith soon revealed that Google had turned down an offer to bid for patents together. Soon after that, Frank Shaw, Microsoft’s head of communications, posted an e-mail discussing the deal between Microsoft and Google with the tweet: “Free advice for David Drummond – next time check with [Google lead counsel] Kent Walker before you blog.”

Oh, snap.

But Google had a response at the ready, with Drummond updating his original post Thursday with a pointed retort at Microsoft’s methods.

“It's not surprising that Microsoft would want to divert attention by pushing a false ‘gotcha!’ while failing to address the substance of the issues we raised,” Drummond said.

He went on to say that, yes, Google did turn down Microsoft’s offer, because buying the patents together wouldn’t have helped Google in any patent litigation against Micrsoft.

“Making sure that we would be unable to assert these patents to defend Android — and having us pay for the privilege — must have seemed like an ingenious strategy to them. We didn't fall for it.”

Who could have expected that patent law could have us reaching for the popcorn? This is turning into an all-out slap fight.

Related stories:

More technology coverage from The Post

Google: Microsoft, Apple in an ‘organized campaign’ against Android

Google buys IBM patents

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.



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