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Google accuses Microsoft of "extortion" over patents

samsung tab

By Stewart Mitchell

Posted on 29 Sep 2011 at 11:08

The mobile phone patent spat between Microsoft and Google has descended into a mud-slinging match following yesterday's deal with Samsung.

That agreement means Samsung will pay a license fee for Microsoft patents for that are used within Google's OS.

The situation, which bizarrely sees Microsoft profit from handsets built around Android, sparked an angry response from Google, which accused its rival of “extortion”.

“This is the same tactic we’ve seen time and again from Microsoft,” said a Google spokesperson in a statement sent to PC Pro.

“Failing to succeed in the smartphone market, it is resorting to legal measures to extort profit from others’ achievements and hinder the pace of innovation. We remain focused on building new technology and supporting Android partners.”

Microsoft fired back at Google through its head of communications' Twitter feed, suggesting the company was acting like a baby.

“Let me boil down the Google statement from 48 words to 1,” said Frank Shaw. “Waaaah.”

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User comments

haha well at least MS is doing the decent thing and allowing Google to use it's patents for a fee. Apple will have them banned soon

By TimoGunt on 29 Sep 2011

Must admit at one time I never would have thought to see Apple as the bad guy and Microsoft as an almost cuddle old uncle! In comparison to Apple's behaviour MS is almost being generous...

By skarlock on 29 Sep 2011

The thing to do is for Google and MS to settle this in court and have it rule on the patents.

Did Google ever comment about the Samsung tablet getting banned?

By james016 on 29 Sep 2011

The whole point...

of the patent system is to enable companies to develop technology (innovate) and allow other companies to innovate on those innovations, by licensing them from the original innovator.

Surely that is what is happening here? Microsoft seem to be following the principles of the system (gaining reward from their inventions, by allowing others to use their inventions and paying for the privilege).

Apple are the ones who aren't playing fair, they are abusing the system to stop innovation.

By big_D on 29 Sep 2011

Google has to be seen to be annoyed with this. Otherwise it would be seen to be rolling over.

I don't think they really care that much. The more PR they get for the Android OS the better.

By CraigieDD on 29 Sep 2011

@big_D Apple are doing just the same surely, but cannot agree a price with Samsung. But Microsoft and Samsung have agreed, and so both are happy. Presumably Apple want more than the $15 Microsoft want.

By MJ2010 on 29 Sep 2011

Microsoft and Apple have different strategies

Apple is trying to keep its patented features out of competitors products so that its own product is better. Thus it is not interested in licensing.

Microsoft is maximising revenue from its existing technology portfolio. It is also keeping the door open with licensees for future OS offerings.

By milliganp on 29 Sep 2011

@MJ2010

No, Apple are banning the products, because they allegedly infringe on Apple's market share. In Europe, they want them banned, full-stop, end of story, due to them looking too much like an iPad or iPhone 4, nothing to do with patents.

Microsoft have said, "your products infringe out patents, pay us a 'fair' amount per product."

Of course, what 'fair' means to Microsoft, to Samsung and to the rest of us is another matter entirely. ;-)

By big_D on 29 Sep 2011

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