The complaint targets the sale of about 2,000 patents by Microsoft and Nokia to MOSAID Technologies, an intellectual property licensing firm that focuses on patent licensing as opposed to product sales — a “non-practicing entity,” to put it nicely, or a “patent troll,” to use a more common term.
“Nokia and Microsoft are colluding to raise the costs of mobile devices for consumers, creating patent trolls that side-step promises both companies have made,” Google said in a statement. “They should be held accountable, and we hope our complaint spurs others to look into these practices.”
Microsoft responded with its own statement: “Google is complaining about patents when it won’t respond to growing concerns by regulators, elected officials and judges about its abuse of standard-essential patents, and it is complaining about antitrust in the smartphone industry when it controls more than 95% of mobile search and advertising. This seems like a desperate tactic on their part.”
Motorola, recently acquired by Google, is battling with Microsoft over licensing terms for patents covering video and wireless technologies. Microsoft contends that Motorola is seeking unreasonable fees for patents on technologies required to implement industry standards.
Microsoft has struck a series of patent licensing deals with makers of Android and Chrome devices. Nokia, the flagship partner for Microsoft’s Windows Phone, has separately filed patent infringement suits against Android device makers HTC and ViewSonic.