Microsoft has made a none-too-subtle dig at Google in statement it published on Wednesday evening outlining its support for fair use of industry standards patents within key products such as tablets and smartphones.
The statement from Microsoft, which never directly names Google, comes after the search giant sent a letter to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) explaining it intends to continue to licence Motorola's patents in the same manner.
Motorola demands a royalty rate for devices that use technology covered by patents, currently that is 2.25 per cent of the device's retail price.
This rate that has caused legal issues between Apple and Motorola and that could see the firm's iPad and iPhone devices banned in Germany.
Apple had previously complained about this situation and has now found an ally in Microsoft.
Microsoft's deputy general counsel for its anti-trust group Dave Heiner, said it believed the industry must work together on this issue otherwise end users suffer.
"Once a standard like H.264 or 802.11 is widely adopted, firms have no choice but to implement the standard in their products. Would you buy a smartphone, an iPad or a personal computer that couldn't play video or connect to wireless networks? Probably not," he said.
"This is why anti-trust enforcers have taken a keen interest recently in patent acquisitions and attempts by patent holders to block their competitors from shipping products that implement industry standards."
In a clear message to Google, Heiner added that the industry must always look to solve any disagreements, rather than resort to legal action.
"Patent holders should not seek to block shipments of competing products just because they implement an industry standard, a licence on reasonable terms is always available," he added.
Patent analyst Florian Mueller said in a blog Google's letter to the IEEE was a worrying development, and likely to make the disputes around the use of FRAND [fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory] patents even worse.
"It boils down to saying Google supports everything [Motorola] has done and, after the acquisition, Google will continue those litigation tactics but obviously with far greater resources and a broader set of strategic objectives, all of which will result in an exacerbation of the problem," he said.
"I am particularly disappointed because Google could have, and in my opinion should have, decided to agree with Apple, Cisco, Microsoft and others that it's time to curb FRAND abuse."
Google and Microsoft's relationship is becoming increasingly hostile as the firms clash over issues of privacy and smartphone patents.
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