Microsoft has hit back at Google in the rumbling dispute over patents which sputtered into life again yesterday after Google accused its competitors of deliberately gathering patents to throttle its Android mobile platform.
Google chief legal officer David Drummond launched blistering attack on Microsoft, Apple, Oracle and others for what he judged to be "a hostile, organised campaign ... waged through bogus patents".
This anti-competitive behaviour, he argued, included joining forces to snap up 6,000 patents from Nortel to make sure Google didn't get them, as well as "banding together to acquire Novell's old patents".
"We're encouraged that the Department of Justice forced the group I mentioned earlier to license the former Novell patents on fair terms, and that it's looking into whether Microsoft and Apple acquired the Nortel patents for anti-competitive means," Drummond added.
However, Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith hit back in a tweet, claiming that Redmond had reached out to Google over the Novell patents and in no way teamed up with Apple to deny the search firm.
"Google says we bought Novell patents to keep them from Google. Really? We asked them to bid jointly with us. They said no," he wrote.
Interestingly, no word from Microsoft on the Nortel deal, however, which is currently being investigated for anti-competitive practices by the Department of Justice.
There's no doubt this isn't the last we'll hear, with some big name Android related patent disputes already working their way through the courts, and Google promising to strengthen its own portfolio of patents in the future.
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