Google Says Patents Used to Tax Android

T-Mobile's G1 phone (HTC Dream), using Google'...
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Google has publicly criticized the use of “bogus patents”, saying that patents are being used to unfairly attack Google’s Android operating system for mobile devices. Google believes the consortium that purchased Nortel’s patents for $4.5 billion including Research In Motion, Apple, Microsoft, Ericsson, EMC and Sony as well as a bid for Novell’s old patents was done “to make sure Google didn’t get them.”

Google’s Chief Legal Officer David Drummond wrote in a Google blog post that patents were being used to wage “a hostile, organized campaign against Android by Microsoft, Oracle, Apple and other companies, waged through bogus patents.” They pointed out that Microsoft demanded a $15 licensing fee for every Android phone produced and that Android manufacturers including Barnes & Noble, HTC, Motorola and Samsung were been targeted.

“Patents were meant to encourage innovation, but lately they are being used as a weapon to stop it” and Google would extend its own patent profile to prevent litigation and to allow Android products to remain competitive.  Drummond continued saying “unless we act, consumers could face rising costs for Android devices — and fewer choices for their next phone.”

Ken Walker, general counsel for Google, also argued that patents were unfairly been used saying “the patent system should reward those who create the most useful innovations for society, not those who stake bogus claims or file dubious lawsuits”, in another Google blog post from April this year.

Meanwhile, Microsoft’s general counsel, Brad Smith, told Twitter followers “Google says we bought Novell patents to keep them from Google. Really? We asked them to bid jointly with us. They said no.”

Sony Joins Tablet Wars with Android

Sony has announced plans to create two new tablets running the latest Android operating system. The tablets are designed to be entertainment devices using ‘premium network services’ from Sony.

The two tablets codenamed S1 will have a single 9.4-inch display while the S2 will have two 5.5-inch displays which can be used for different functions, eg. email in the top screen and a soft keyboard on the bottom. The tablets are expected to hit shelves during Fall 2011.

It is likely the new tablets will integrate with other Sony network services such as “Qriocity” a network platform, PlayStation Network (PSN) and controlling BRAVIA televisions using the tablet.