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Apple and Microsoft crushing innovation: Google - Updated

06 Aug 2011

A Google executive has blasted Apple and Microsoft for waging a patent war on the search giant’s smartphone OS, Android.

David Drummond, Google senior vice president and chief legal officer, has posted a blog lambasting the ‘hostile, organised campaign’ being waged by the two traditional foes, along with Oracle and others.

"Android is on fire,” the blog reads.

"More than 550,000 Android devices are activated every day... Android and other platforms are competing hard against each other, and that’s yielding cool new devices and amazing mobile apps for consumers.

"But Android’s success has yielded something else: a hostile, organised campaign against Android by Microsoft, Oracle, Apple and other companies, waged through bogus patents.”

Drummond says the war means patents are stifling innovation rather than encouraging it.

"Instead of competing by building new features or devices, they are fighting through litigation.”

Microsoft, Oracle and Apple were all part of a consortium that won a bid for the patents of bankrupt tech firm Nortel last month. The deal is currently under investigation by the US Justice Department.

Update: Microsoft has hit back at the Google assault, with two executives claiming on Twitter that Google was asked to join Microsoft in bidding for patents from company Novell,but said no.

Brad Smith, Microsoft general counsel and and senior vice president of legal and corporate affairs, tweeted, "Google says we bought Novell patents to keep them from Google. Really? We asked them to bid jointly with us. They said no."

Shortly after this, Frank Shaw, lead corporate communications for Microsoft, posted a link to a document corroborating Smith's claim, tweeting, "Free advice for David Drummond - next time check with [Google executive] Kent Walker before you blog."

In further tweets, Shaw says, "We offered Google the opportunity to bid with us to buy the Novell patents; they said no.

"Why? Because they wanted to buy something that they could use to assert against someone else."