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Google itself hasn’t yet been named as a defendant in any of Microsoft’s patent litigation over Android, but the search giant obviously has a vested interest in the case as the company behind the mobile operating system. Now Google is speaking out against Microsoft’s actions.

“Sweeping software patent claims like Microsoft’s threaten innovation,” the company said in a statement this morning. “While we are not a party to this lawsuit, we stand behind the Android platform and the partners who have helped us to develop it.”

Microsoft yesterday escalated the patent fight with a lawsuit against Barnes & Noble and the manufacturers of its Nook e-reader device over the use of Android in the device.

“The Android platform infringes a number of Microsoft’s patents, and companies manufacturing and shipping Android devices must respect our intellectual property rights,” said Horacio Gutierrez, Microsoft corporate vice president and deputy general counsel, in a statement announcing the suit. “Other vendors, including HTC, a market leader in Android smartphones, have taken a license under this program, and we have tried for over a year to reach licensing agreements with Barnes & Noble, Foxconn and Inventec.”

[Related: The patents Microsoft is using to sue Barnes & Noble]


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