Dispelling a notion that rivals are taking Google to court out of frustration over their inability to slow down the Android freight train, patent expert Florian Müeller makes a point in a post over at his FOSS Patents blog that a collective market capitalization of the various corporations suing Google is approximately $1.06 trillion versus Google’s $188 billion market cap.

More important than that, he says, “the companies who claim that Google’s Android infringes on their intellectual property are too diverse to believe in a conspiracy”. Müeller also notes that the Japanese giant Fujifilm, which mostly played defensive role in litigation, has also sued Google subsidiary Motorola Mobility for Android’s alleged infringement of four of its patents…

The seven publicly traded companies which sue Google over Android are, with their respective market capitalization in brackets: Apple ($565.68 billion), Microsoft ($246.9 billion), Nokia ($6.89 billion), Oracle ($144.42 billion), Gemalto ($6.52 billion), British Telecom ($27.02 billion) and Fujifilm ($8.47 billion).

Müeller, a self-proclaimed Android users, says Google should wake up and do something about the patent threat as new lawsuits are piling up virtually with each passing day:

Google’s defensive abilities are admirable, but it can’t fend off all of those assertions. As an Android user, I would like to see Google address those problems more effectively.

When I look at public statements made by Google officials, it sometimes seems that the company is, at different levels, in a state of denial concerning Android’s intellectual property issues.

Eleven months ago, Google announced its merger agreement with Motorola Mobility. By now, it becomes clearer and clearer that this acquisition is not the answer.

He concludes that “Android’s IP issues are not simply a function of its market share” because “there must be some more fundamental problems”.

Müeller recently compiled a list of eleven patents that Apple and Microsoft are leveraging against Android. Google’s recently completed $12.5 billion acquisition of handset maker Motorola Mobility was motivated to bolster Android’s patent portfolio in the wake of lawsuits.

Google chairman Eric Schmidt recently asserted as much, telling the New York Times last week:

While Mr. Schmidt acknowledged that Google purchased the company and its patents, in part, as a reaction to rival “Apple’s behavior,” he said its hardware business was a real draw.

Is Android a patent bomb waiting to explode? Do you think it is a pure coincidence that the aforementioned companies are claiming patent infringement over Android? Is Apple suing Android backers as a last-ditched effort to stop the Android march or because of the bigger IP issues?

I’m eager to hear what you have to say on this controversial topic down in the comments.

  • Interesting. Just don’t see how the article and the title go together :P.

  • thor_molecules

    I think this is more about containing Android’s growth than it is about IP infringement.

    Looking at the various lawsuits aimed at Google and their OEM’s (from Apple, Oracle, et al) none have made a significant dent. Apple scored a temporary victory against Samsung, but that’s it.

    That shows that the claims against Google aren’t nearly as strong as many thought.

  • Emre SÜMENGEN

    I think it’s basically both…

    If someone is copying your work, but not making much money out of it, you might want to consider suing them… It makes no sense. There’s no competition, there’s no threat.

    If that other someone is copying you and making big bucks with it that they don’t deserve, than there comes trouble. Especially, if that copycat somehow becomes your ultimate opponent, well, it’s easy to expect lots of wars.