When it comes to the patent wars, think of Microsoft as a grizzled, old general. The company has been defending itself against suits and filing them, while working to acquire smaller, patent-rich companies such as Novell, for years. Microsoft was among a group of companies, including Apple, making the Novell patent purchase. Needless to say, this left Google crying foul, claiming, specifically, that Microsoft and Apple were ganging up on the search leader’s Android platform. In this photo, Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft Corp., pauses while speaking during an event at China's Ministry of Science and Technology in Beijing on Dec. 7, 2011.