Google's Attempt To Bully Microsoft Back With Patents Not Going Too Well
from the live by the sword... dept
Ever since Google decided to stick with Motorola Mobility’s existing patent fights with various companies, I’ve been wondering why they did so. Here was a chance for Google to take the high road and actually live up to what it had been claiming concerning the problems of patents. But, instead, it’s basically continued to try to use patents as a weapon. The fight against Microsoft has been particularly silly. While Microsoft did initiate things, Motorola’s decision to fight back had seemed dubious from the start. Being a patent bully is no way to run a long-term business, and that’s doubly true when you’re a company telling people how broken the patent system really is.
And yet, Motorola Mobility pushed on against Microsoft… and it’s not going well. On Friday, a judge knocked the damages down to next to nothing, basically siding with Microsoft. Microsoft had argued that if there were any infringement, the amount owed should be about $1.2 million. Motorola Mobility had argued for… $4 billion. The judge came down at just $1.8 million.
I recognize, of course, that the whole reason that Google bought Motorola Mobility was to get access to these patents. And, on top of that, Microsoft did strike first here. However, Motorola Mobility had hit back quite strongly, and even once Google was in control, it seemed to have little interest in pulling back. The whole thing makes Google look a bit hypocritical, and it certainly hasn’t helped the company win any of these legal battles.