Google isn’t innocent in the patent wars

John Gruber:

But Motorola — a wholly-owned Google subsidiary — has filed patent lawsuits against Apple all over the world. Just one month ago Apple finally put an end to an 18-month injunction that prevented iCloud users in Germany from getting push notifications for email — because of a patent lawsuit filed by Google.

I’m in total agreement with Gruber on this one. Like most people, I hate these stupid patent trolls, but too many people are trying to make Google seem like a victim here. They’re not.

  • Watch what you say! Android fanboys do nothing but troll tech blogs about this stuff. Next thing you know they’re gonna be whacking off all over here.

  • BC2009

    Gruber’s take is spot on. Google blew the bidding war for the Nortel patents and then paid more than twice that for Motorola patents and pursued lawsuits against Apple worldwide using those patents.

    Had Google won the Nortel patents they would have gone after Apple months ago using these patents.

    • Pure conjecture.

      • rattyuk

        Supported wholly by what they did as soon as they bought Motorola.

        • They bought then in June 2012. What did they do after that to support this wholly?

          Proof, dear sir.

          • And how does that prove Google would have won the Nortel patents and gone after Apple just months after?

          • youre moving the goal posts. you were pretending they hadnt started any suits after the purchase:

            “They bought then in June 2012. What did they do after that to support this wholly?Proof, dear sir.”

            …i have now given you that proof, as requested.

            just admit you were wrong. i know it’s tough. but youll make it. you will. next week you wont even remember being wrong.

          • Ahh…your favorite phrase. 🙂 You always find a way to fit that one in.

            See my other comment (just sent) to you reiterating most of this.

            In short: new battle, not a new war.

          • rattyuk

            Er, if they were true to the concept, Google should have pulled the court cases. They are still in court. Proof.

          • Pfft. Laughable man. I’ll repeat: stopping a suit is not as easy as saying “we give up” and walking away.

            Should Moto be abusing FRAND/SEP, nope. Just don’t try to convince me with link bait that Google sued.

          • jscotta

            Really, @johncblandii:disqus ? I guess you’ve never heard of a lawyer writing a letter and filing the paperwork to…oh, say…DROP a case?

          • Sure but if they drop they are, essentially surrendering and giving _____ whatever they want. If they started the suit and had no countersuits against them and both sides mutually agreed to drop it, I would agree.

          • jscotta

            It is no more surrendering than not going after legal action to start with.

            Your lack of logic is huge. Either Google is justified in suing (or in the case of their Motorola subsidiary, continuing the suit) or not. If they are justified in continuing the suit, then you cannot, in good faith, argue that the Rockstar patents cannot continue.

          • I don’t care if Rockstar continues. I’ve largely checked out of following all of this patent hoopla beyond reading headlines in my RSS feed.

            As for justification in suing over patents, Motorola was justified in protecting them selves but 100% wrong in their methods regarding FRAND/SEP.

  • it is very rare when you guys are this wrong. Motorola sued Apple before they were bought by Google. There was discussion and pursit , yes but Motorola was still its own company when they went after Apple.


      Using the same Law firm that Google and Samsung uses.

      You are pathetic.

      • {insert Scooby confused noise}

        What? Please explain this one. I’ll wait.

        • rattyuk

          Quinn Emanual, the guys who “leaked” the Nokia / Apple contract to Samsung. They are the law firm handling all the Anti-Apple cases.

          • So Google owns the law firm that sued Apple for another company? Is that what you’re saying?

            If not, it has no bearing on Google for a law firm to sue another company.

          • rattyuk

            Nope. But said that Google used the same law firm as Samsung. and you wanted it explained. Looks like you’re attacking the messenger and missing the message.

          • Using the same firm means nothing.

          • matthewmaurice

            You clearly don’t know any litigators.

          • But I did sleep in a Holiday Inn Express last night. 😉

            BTW, terribly poor assumption.

    • nizy

      That’s utter crap. They certainly started some of the lawsuits before Google bought them. But Google continued the fight and brought new motions, appealed unfavourable rulings to higher courts and upheld injunctions etc. In fact google’s own lawyers were active in just about every single Motorola lawsuit since the purchase was announced, even during the review period. Google has had many opportunities to lay down its arms, or settle but it refuses to yield.

      • Continuing case and yes…at that point Google owneded them but did Google sue?

        • google owns moto. moto is google. if moto sues, it is google suing.

          stop lying to yourself.

        • also — NOT a “continuing case” as you claim. NEW CASE. aug 18, 2012. read.

          “Google’s Motorola unit has filed a new suit against Apple this week”

          …being wrong is hard for you, isnt it?

  • The White Tiger

    It’s been less than 18 months since the merger was completed. The Department of Justice and ECC didn’t even approve the merger plan until 10 days after the injunction, let alone the initial lawsuit. How could Google have filed that? You can try giving them shit for continuing to pursue the case after the merger completed, but claiming they’re the instigator is a little silly.

    I cannot stand this faint condemnation of “I hate how broken the patent system is. But eh, they kind of deserve it.” It can’t be only KIND OF patent abuse, so tell me if you think it is or isn’t.

    I’ve been commenting here for a while, and I like Apple and its products, and I like talking with fellow enthusiasts (that and Mr. Dalrymple usually links to good articles). I’m not some Android dude just trying to start shit. If Google had won the Nortel patents and started using them as a club, you’d better believe I’d still be here calling bullshit. This whole thing is absurd and thuggish, no matter who is behind Rockstar.

    • Preach!

      Gruber’s closing statement was ridiculous seeing how much he has utterly BASHED Lodsys in the past: “Rockstar may be a patent troll, but they’re a patent troll that at least is picking on someone its own size.”

      The hypocrisy of accepting Rockstar and bashing Lodsys is ludicrous!

      Let Rockstar not include Apple and they be targeted and this post, Gruber’s, and the host of other pro-Apple pundits would be up in arms!


        Apple has been sued by Holding companies using Patents from S3, IBM, Palm, RIM, Nokea, Motorola, etc.

        Now it your turn to see how you feel when tables are turned.

        You seem to be Official Google spokesman for Loop.

        • What does that have to do with the misinformation/lies spewed in Gruber’s post? Please explain that one.

          Far from a Google spokesman but I call bull when I see it and this is it.

          • Moeskido

            The difference between what Lodsys attempts to do to small companies and what these big companies continue to do to each other is not misinformation, nor is it equivalent.

            Apple did not start this, and Google is not an innocent.

          • Bull!

            Misinformation is painting Google as having sued Apple or Microsoft. That’s completely false.

          • Moeskido
          • You mistake defending themselves in an already running suit that started PRIOR to Moto being bought as Google having directly sued either of the companies.

          • I’ve already posted links educating you, which clearly show that googles moto has initiated patent lawsuits. you’re FOS on this one.

          • Nope, you didn’t.

          • rattyuk

            I think you missed the bit where Google ARE Motorola, If Google were true to their word then the moment they bought Motorola then the court cases would have stopped.

            They didn’t.

            Ergo Google has sued Apple and is continuing to do so.

          • “Google ARE Motorola”

            ^ Come on man. You are outright off with that one.

            As for stopping it, you’re bonkers if you think it is as easy as stopping a sink leak.

          • Size does not matter, in this case. Lodsys has gone after larger companies. Patent trolling is patent trolling and Rockstar is a patent troll.

            Sidebar: I’m curious who started it, in your opinion.

          • lies? quote us a single Gruber lie. be specific.

            as for rockstar vs lodsys – as gruber says at least rockstar is only suing other major multinational corps, unlike lodsys targeting the weak and defenseless. if you can’t see that get your prescription checked.

          • “If anything, Google has been the worst of the bunch, found guilty of abusing FRAND patents.”

            ^ He then links to an article titled: “Judge slaps Motorola with $14.5M payout to Microsoft for FRAND abuse”. Note: this suit was the one started prior to the purchase by Google and finished after.

            “Just one month ago Apple finally put an end to an 18-month injunction that prevented iCloud users in Germany from getting push notifications for email — because of a patent lawsuit filed by Google.”

            ^ He then links to a FOSS article about a suit started by Moto prior to the purchase.

            So there you go. Two lies. Google didn’t sue in either of those cases.

            I’ll sit back and wait for you to talk your way around this one.

          • those arent lies — as the current owner of Moto, Google is completely free to dismiss their suits. to not do so, as the current owner, is to maintain the suits.


    • Tom_P

      So it’s OK for Google’s own company for suing Apple all over the world, abusing FRAND in the process but it’s not OK for Apple’s consortium to sue Google without abusing any FRAND patents? It’s irrelevant when Moto suing Apple. Moto is Google’s company now and they can put a break to it whenever they wanted to. They don’t. Now their apologists (not you by the way) cried foul? Where are these people when someone’s ABUSING something as basic as FRAND? Where were the protests?

      • Is it ok for Motorola, a separate entity from Google, to sue Apple using FRAND in a poor response to a suit brought by Apple? No.

        Hilarious dude. “Moto is Google’s company now and they can put a break to it whenever they wanted to.” That easy, eh? Just stop the suit and give Apple every dime they’re trying to weasel out of the company they purchased 2 YEARS AFTER the suit began.

        You guys are trying way to hard to justify a load of crap.

        • Tom_P

          Oh yes, it’s that easy. Just offer Fair and Reasonable price for Moto’s FRAND patents, but Google didn’t want that, did they? They love Moto’s game, didn’t they? Now they got hit with a big patent lawsuit and this John dude wanna cry. Well, cry me a river. I don’t cheer what Rockstar did but at least Apple has a decency to not hide behind other people’s back. Well, maybe they’re yet to be as slimy as Google is.

          • demodave

            Judging from all the awesome product that Google’s Motorola branch has been putting out in the last 18 months, clearly Google saw the true potential in Motorola to product fantastic devices.


            (And it pains me to be so pointed, because I really did used to admire Motorola, but ever since they retreated from real manufacturing (I’m a silicon manufacturing/process engineer), I’ve lost a lot of respect for them.)

          • I can’t speak to the manufacturing. I def’ was a Moto fan about 13 years ago but haven’t liked anything they’ve had until they launched the Moto X (which I want).

            But 18 months isn’t bad. Apple took ~18 months before Siri was implemented and maps folks [C3 Technologies] was about the same [faster though, I think]. It seems common to buy, retool, release. [conjecture/observation]

          • I loathe patent trolls but the suit isn’t my issue. It’s the hypocrisy being shown by Jim and Gruber here. Lodsys is evil but Rockstar is justified? Seriously? Weak!

            Mostly though is the justification used is through saying Google sued Apple/Microsoft. Just state the facts without loopholes and I go away.

            Apple isn’t hiding? They found some buddies, put their money together, bought patents through a separate company they own more than 50% of and are now attacking through THAT company. How is that not hiding?

            As for my issue with Moto and FRAND, you’re mistaking my distaste. I didn’t even address Rockstar here. They’re patent trolls, even Gruber agrees there. My “strong protest” is in the hypocrisy and misinformation. I don’t recall where I commented on Moto and FRAND but I’ll do a quick search and try to find an old discussion.

          • Tom_P

            “Rockstar is justified? Seriously? Weak!” I don’t think anybody’s pleased with the lawsuit. Please feel free to show anyone cheering it. But the fact remains: It’s within Rockstar’s right to sue, and it’s fair. It’s NOT within Google (Moto) right to abusing FRAND, and it’s not Fair.

            “How is that not hiding?” Did you see all the headlines? Who’s got the blame? Either you’re confused or you’re not very bright.

            “I don’t recall where I commented on Moto and FRAND but I’ll do a quick search and try to find an old discussion.” Please. I’ll wait. Let’s see who’s a hypocrite here.

          • I didn’t say anyone is cheering but Gruber justified it since they are going after a big company.

            So if the headlines name Apple, that’s not hiding? Alright. Let’s play by those rules. Look at all of the headlines for Moto suits against Apple/Microsoft SINCE the merger talks entered final stages, even for suits started BEFORE the final stages. If Apple isn’t hiding because of headlines. neither is Google.

            But I simply don’t care about hiding or not. It’s just ludicrous to think either is out front attacking the other. Read my comments here. I’m not even addressing the suit. It’s all about journalistic integrity.

            100% agree on FRAND. Moto sucks for that move and so did Samsung for theirs.

            You won’t find me being a hypocrite, trust me. I use my full name throughout the web, no hiding, so you can search all you want to disprove that. My site is [my name dot com] and my contact info is there. Ping me any time to discuss.

            As for Moto and FRAND, this is all I found on The Loop:

            You can also see my 1 word comment here as well:

            Hopefully that helps you see who you’re in a discussion with.

          • Tom_P

            Thank you.

            “but Gruber justified it since they are going after a big company.” IMO he justified nothing. He simply complain about Ars article which didn’t paint the whole picture as I quoted before. “if you want to argue that Apple and Microsoft are in the wrong, and poor Google and their Android partners are victims of one-sided abuse, I’m going to have to disagree.” That’s the crux of it. Nobody likes the lawsuit, but it abuses nothing. I don’t even think John or Jim, the one you called hypocrite, likes it either. But he called a spade a spade. That Google is not a child being bullied here. Google’s simply a big bully being bullied back. So yes, iMO, he has a journalist integrity, way more than the one who wrote Ars article who only focused on the lawsuit at hand and missed the big picture, intentionally or not. You might disagree with me. Fine. But let’s not fool us that Google doesn’t have a hand in its own company lawsuits against its competition. Nobody says Apple doesn’t involved in this case. Only apologists claimed Google doesn’t involved in Moto case that went to trial long after the Moto purchase approved and have enough time to right this wrong but did not.

          • I agree Google isn’t innocent, never argued or will argue that.

            My thoughts on the justification are solely on this:

            Just pick one article from Gruber, say this one ( and look at the tone/wording regarding Intellectual Ventures/Lodsys then read the linked article.

            He takes issue with Drance’s closing paragraph that uses tone/wording from the ‘when-patents-attack’ link above then closes with a justification: “Rockstar may be a patent troll, but they’re a patent troll that at least is picking on someone its own size.”

            Stop justifying! That’s the hypocritical part. It really has nothing to do with Google’s involvement other than being sued but with the “this isn’t good but I’m ok with it because of who they are suing” is 100% hypocrisy.

          • Tom_P

            Cool about Google.

            For the part you quoted I see your point but that part is up to John to clarify it, not me.

  • I hate adding an extra comment but I always feel bad when there are a bunch of comments back-to-back-to-back.

    Apologies for all the mail. I respond to everyone who responds to me, whether I agree or not, out of respect. Thx.

    • you just have a big problem admitting when you wrong. even when you are proven wrong with links…for example links showing that Google/Moto started new suits after being purchased by Google. you still cant acknowledge that you were wrong about that.

      …that’s a new suit, not a continuation. but even continuing an older suit would still be the same as starting a new one — as the new owners, Google calls the shots.

      • No problems admitting when I’m wrong. We just have a different view.

        You say another battle in a continued war is a new war. I say nay. All good.

        Have a good one.

  • jscotta

    One thing that nearly everyone seems to like to try to forget is that Steve Jobs said very plainly that he was willing to go “thermonuclear war” on them. A dying man felt betrayed by someone he tried to mentor and help, Eric Schmidt. A man that sat on the board of Steve Jobs’ beloved Apple; listened in and participated with very important strategic discussions and decisions including iOS/iPhone/iPad; proceeded to pass that internal competitive information along to his own company and direct its products to be a direct competitor of the company who’s board he sat on. Otherwise known as corporate espionage.

    Apple has been active in attempting to protect itself and to attack in the intellectual property arena for quite a while (just alike all major corporations). When Schmidt betrayed Jobs, it was the start of something beyond just typical patent BS. This is the ghost of Steve Jobs carrying out his threat and attacking not just Android, but the heart of the organization that spawned it, Google’s search business. Thus thermonuclear war.

    Whether you agree with the patent troll thing or no, the laws methods exist to use them in the corporate wars. Just as I am no fan patent trolls, I am also not a fan of lying and stealing (Eric Schmidt). And Apple is apparently going to be using those laws to extract a price from Google (and their babies) for such terrible acts.