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Google: Everyone's picking on us

A Google-employed blogger has accused Microsoft and Apple of ganging up on the poor, defenceless flogger of advertising space.

Microsoft and Apple have always been at each other’s throats, so when they get into bed together you have to start wondering what's going on," writes David Drummond, Google's chief legal officer and a senior vice president at the company.

Drummond says Google's development of Android has spawned, "a hostile, organized campaign against Android by Microsoft, Oracle, Apple and other companies, waged through bogus patents.”

Drummond reckons the ganging-up was evident when this bunch all stuck a few bob they had lying about in a pot to buy, both Novell and Nortel’s patent portfolios. “They’re doing this by banding together to acquire Novell’s old patents (the “CPTN” group including Microsoft and Apple) and Nortel’s old patents (the “Rockstar” group including Microsoft and Apple), to make sure Google didn’t get them; seeking $15 licensing fees for every Android device; attempting to make it more expensive for phone manufacturers to license Android (which we provide free of charge) than Windows Phone.”

Drummond claims such “anti-competitive” actions have pushed up the price of patents and will effectively put a “tax” on Android phones. “They want to make it harder for manufacturers to sell Android devices,” he whined.

But Microsoft fired back with a twit. Brad Smith, Microsoft General Counsel twaddled: “Google says we bought Novell patents to keep them from Google. Really? We asked them to bid jointly with us. They said no.”

Then Frank Shaw head of corporate communications at Microsoft, joined the fray, posting a missive apparently from a colleague of Drummond's, fellow SVP and general counsel Kent Walker, that was sent to Brad Smith back in October 2010, stating that for "various reasons a joint bid wouldn’t be advisable for us on this one."

“Free advice for David Drummond – next time check with Kent Walker before you blog.” Shaw twitted, attaching a screen grab of the email