Google seems to have thrown yet another tantrum.
This time it’s throwing its toys out of the pram as what looks to be a result of losing out on acquiring some of Nortel’s patents and claiming that the law surrounding patents should be changed.
Although it stalked Nortel as soon as it found out about the 6,000 patents that it was putting up for sale, claiming at the time the portfolio would “create a disincentive for others to sue Google”, it didn’t bank on rivals Apple, Ericsson, Microsoft and RIM winning the licences. The consortium won the patents as a result of topping Google’s $900 million bid.
At the time the company didn’t have much to say except that that the outcome was “disappointing.”
Now it seems Google wants its revenge. In an interview with TechCrunch Kent Walker, Google’s Senior Vice President & General Counsel described the patent sector as a plate of “spaghetti”, ironically moaning that everyone was suing everyone else.
He said that a patent was no longer an innovation but the “right to block someone else from innovating. “
He carried on his moans to Bloomberg where he likened patent purchases, and their resulting use, as a battlefield and added that it was hard to find a way through the “mess” of litigation.
“It’s hard to find what’s the best path – there’s so much litigation,” he said.
“We’re exploring a variety of different things.”
As a result of these, Google is now calling for a patent reform, which it says will benefit users and the US economy as a whole.
However, as IP expert Florian Mueller pointed out the company is already stockpiling patents, which we assume it’s getting ready to hold against those who get in its way.
He added that Mr Waker’s statements could be a case of sour grapes, claiming that “Google would have had much more credibility as a critic of the patent system if it had spoken out at a time when it was either a winner or at least not a loser of the patent game.”
He added that there were also doubts as to whether Google’s respect for other people’s and companies’ intellectual property rights was sincere, which was backed up by its failure to support Android app developers against Lodsys and other trolls.
If it gets its patent reform we could see smaller companies be eaten up by the dominant company, under the guise of “innovation.”