Google’s decision to post a deliciously antagonistic screed about Microsoft and Apple’s patent purchasing alliance has all the hallmarks of a company spoiling for a fight.
The blog essentially accused Microsoft and Apple of stymying Android’s development by hoovering-up patents, all while looking to levy charges on each Android phone sold.
The dispute has since escalated. Microsoft responded by saying that Google was offered the chance to join the alliance and turned it down. Google itself bid billions for the patents and missed out, suggesting there’s a more than a hint of sour grapes to all of this.
Yet while the Big M hasn’t been shy about wheeling out its legal big guns to take the fight to Google, Apple has remained surprisingly schtum. Cupertino has kept its counsel and as yet hasn’t responded to the serious allegations made by Google Chief Legal Officer David Drummond.
But surely there’s no way Jobs and co will be looking to ride this one out without taking a swipe at its biggest rival?
When Drummond wrote the immortal lines, claiming that “Android’s success has yielded something else: a hostile, organised campaign against Android by Microsoft, Oracle, Apple and other companies, waged through bogus patents,” he would surely have known it would invoke the ire of the corporations mentioned.
Whatever the truth of the matter, something that’s hard to discern between claim and counter claim, it’ll be Apple’s comments that will create the biggest headlines of this saga so far. Steve Jobs isn’t renowned for being litigious for nothing.
It would hardly be surprising to see Apple take this fight to Google in the courts, although whether it will have solid grounds to do so without facing action itself will be fascinating. Either way, there’s no way we’ve heard the end of this.
If and when Apple does weigh in, questions will have to be raised about how the whole situation affects the development of the smartphone space. Surely the sale of patents and litigation will eventually hamper the inclusion of new technologies in the latest smartphones?
It’s perhaps worrying that these companies are focusing so heavily on slinging mud rather than coming to an agreed position and looking to create new tech that will excite and invigorate the industry in years to come.
But for now, this is the kind of tech entertainment that makes watching the smartphone space so avidly worthwhile. Whatever Apple has to say, it’s going to be worth hearing.