Google, the world's largest Internet service provider, on Thursday accused rivals Microsoft Corp. and Nokia Corp. of conspiracy against development of Google Android operating system for smartphones and tablets by passing their patents to third companies which it believes are patent trolls. The search giant has already filed a formal complaint with the European commission.
"Nokia and Microsoft are colluding to raise the costs of mobile devices for consumers, creating patent trolls that side-step promises both companies have made. They should be held accountable, and we hope our complaint spurs others to look into these practices," a statement by Google reads.
The search giant believes that Microsoft and Nokia specifically sold as many as 1200 patents related to 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE wireless networks to Mosaid Technologies, which Google believes is a patent troll that will use those patents against rivals of Nokia and Microsoft. Even though it was Nokia, which sold patents to Mosaid, Google accuses both Nokia and Microsoft of conspiracy, implying that the latter provided the former incentives to sell the patents to a third-party, whose actions will eventually hurt the whole market.
Back in September, 2011, Mosaid acquired Core Wireless Licensing, a Luxembourg company that held portfolio of 400 patent families, consisting of approximately 2000 wireless patents and patent applications originally filed by Nokia that cover technologies used in a wide range of mobile communications devices and services. One hundred of the patent families, consisting of approximately 1200 patents and applications, have been declared essential to second, third and fourth-generation communications standards, including GSM, UMTS/WCDMA and 4G/LTE. The rest of the portfolio consists of approximately 800 wireless implementation patents.
Mosaid believes that revenues from licensing, enforcing and monetizing this wireless portfolio will surpass the Company's total revenues since its formation in 1975. What is important is that the acquired portfolio is generally not transferable by Mosaid/Core Wireless, even in case Google manages to unfriendly takeover Mosaid, the patents will have to be transferred to a third party.
"This is a transformative event for Mosaid which will drive significant revenue growth and shareholder value over the next decade, and will create exciting new opportunities for Mosaid as one of the world's premier licensing organizations. This is one of the strongest standards-essential wireless portfolios available on the market, and we are thrilled that we have acquired this outstanding portfolio and have the opportunity to monetize it," said John Lindgren, president and chief executive officer of Mosaid Technologies.
Google believes that Mosaid will be able to accuse competitors of Nokia and Microsoft of patent infringement, which will not only make it harder to innovate for companies like Google/Motorola, HTC, LG Electronics and Samsung Electronics, but will make devices running Android more expensive than they are today. Essentially, this means it would boost competitive positions of Windows Phone and Windows operating systems. As a result, Google is taking a preemptive measure to avoid a patent war between Mosaid, itself and devices manufacturers.