Are Google’s Patents Too Weak To Protect Android?
An anonymous reader writes “The Guardian published an opinion piece written by former-NoSoftwarePatents-activist-turned-controversial-patent-blogger Florian Mueller. He lists 12 patent lawsuits instigated against Android last year, says there are many more to come, and believes that Google’s portfolio of only 576 U.S. patents is dwarved by those of Apple, Microsoft, Oracle and others. So Google can’t retaliate against aggressors such as Oracle. Consequently — he argues — Android makers will have to remove functionality or pay high license fees, and the operating system will become unprofitable for handset makers. Even the app ecosystem could suffer, he says. Since Google received only 282 new U.S. patents in 2010, the gap between Google’s portfolio and those of its competitors is widening further: Apple produces about twice as many, and Microsoft gets more than 3,000 new ones a year. Let’s discuss this: is Android really in for so much trouble? Can’t Google find other ways (than owning many patents) to defend it than countersuing? How about its vast financial resources?”