Google complains about antitrust issues, pointing fingers at Microsoft and Nokia

Just when we thought the patent wars were over, Google has announced yesterday that they've filed an antitrust complaint in Europe, pointing a finger at Nokia and Microsoft regarding patents. The search giant is arguing that both companies are using third-party agencies (which are internally branded "patent trolls") to increase the costs for mobile devices, which would in-turn provide a strong advantage to the Microsoft ecosystem. An example is provided by Google, where the company states that Nokia and Microsoft have entered into revenue-based agreements with the likes of Mosaid Technologies.

Last year the two companies in question transferred a total of 2,000 patents to Mosaid, as well as Nokia selling 450 to IP Bulldog. Google views a threat on the horizon where more fees placed on OEMs may force manufacturers to look elsewhere, Windows Phone in this case, for cheaper production costs. While details of the filing has not been published, a statement from Google has been provided:

"Nokia and Microsoft are colluding to raise the costs of mobile devices for consumers, creating patent trolls that sidestep promises both companies have made. They should be held accountable, and we hope our complaint spurs others to look into these practices."

By colluding with both Microsoft and Mosaid, Google alleges that Nokia has betrayed its previous open-source commitments. A Microsoft representative has responded to these claims with the following comment:

"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."

Nokia has also publicly responded to the filing:

"Though we have not yet seen the complaint, Google's suggestion that Nokia and Microsoft are colluding on IPR is wrong. Both companies have their own IPR portfolios and strategies and operate independently.Nokia has made regular patent divestments over the last five years. In each case, any commitments made for standards essential patents transfer to the acquirer and existing licenses for the patents continue. Had Google asked us, we would have been happy to confirm this, which could then have avoided them wasting the commission's time and resources on such a frivolous complaint.We agree with Google that Android devices have significant IP infringement issues, and would welcome constructive efforts to stop unauthorised use of Nokia intellectual property.Nokia has an active licensing program with more than 40 licensees. Companies who are not yet licensed under our standard essential patents should simply approach us and sign up for a license."

We'll have to see how these complaints progress through the European regulators. We'll never get tired of patent news.

Source: Wall Street Journal; via: AllAboutWindowsPhone

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds is Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • LOL yes Google handsets are getting more expensive but Windows Phones are getting more cheaper. Quit whinning Google and make your own stuff.
  • +1... F-them
  • agreed!
  • When I first read of this I seriously thought "You have got to be joking, right?!" If Google, Microsoft and Nokia were kids on a playgroud, Google would be the wimpy kid running out from behind the bushes, smacking both Microsoft and Nokia, then running back to mommy to hide. I think this is a sign that Google is concerned.
    Microsoft has built a very solid OS and Nokia is supplying a hardware 'casing' worthy of the interface. Seeing Microsoft now starting to put the finishing touches on Windows 8, while Googles Chromebook is still an afterthought, has them worried.
    Google as a company and their practices scare the crap out of me anymore. I stopped using ALL of their services for good 3 months ago and haven't looked back. I don't trust what they do with data and didn't want to give them an ounce more of mine. It'll be interesting to see if the 'whistle gets blown' by federal regulators on Google's practices. THEN we shall see how much mommy can protect them.
  • Lol conspiracy much? Anybody that wants your info already has the means to get them. Google or not
  • I generally find that when you tolerate these privacy violations it encourages them to continually push the limits further. I also discontinued use of all things Google a while ago, mostly because I just prefer Microsoft, but also because I don't like the way Google operates on a mentality of stealing everything and claiming it as its own... including your stuff.
  • I guess there is a reason Google is not creating an decent apps for the windows platform right? Antitrust my ass... :-)
  • Thumb up
  • Check out the new Bing LOOKS WAY BETTER THAN Google, look at the risk ms has taken with WP and the new win8
  • I just wish Bing worked half as good as Google... Especially on my phone :(
    (I still often get paltry or no results in Bing and great results in Google)
  • True I too get fewer results with Bing but those results are often more relevant.
  • I actually try to use Bing at work pretty often, today I got a totally blank page, no results at all. It can be pretty bad. :/ 
  • Yeah Bing results for me are pretty ordinary too.. It is getting better tho..
  • i officially set all my computers to Bing today. :)
  • i'd love to do that but google simply gives me better results 95% of the time.
    Although i allready switched to WP, Skydrive, Live Mail, Windows 8 RP, Skype and MS Office / Outlook, i try next to cut out chrome and use IE10 instead.
    I just wish there would be more plugins for it. If IE10 works like i want it to work, i think about trying bing again.
  • Yeah Bing is really pretty bit its half the engine google is. And why can't I save or zoom on Bing image searches? How dumb is that?
  • I agree with the picture zoom thing, but that's about it. Maybe I just don't use search engines much, but I have never had a problem with Bing. In fact, sometimes I search google and Bing just to see both results. Usually they're pretty similar, except google often throws in every word in the thesaurus and if it doesn't recognize my search term, it also includes what it thought I meant without a way to disable it. Usually im looking for specific stuff and Bing is the best of the two if you don't want 80 million results with 90% being what google thinks youre looking for.
  • This is sad. I think Android is bad for Google and they are alienating the companies that should be their partners. The only way they can make ad revenue is if they are on the most platforms possible. By releasing Android they are losing Apple and further distancing themselves Microsoft. Their free with ads model only works if they have nearly a monopoly and they'll never reach that by screwing the companies that could make it possible.
  • Thing is. These companies can't get away from just copying stuff. I don't mean that Google is super baddy here, they are not, but both Microsoft and Nokia are top 12 R&D spenders in the world.
    Google uses 900 million dollars, Apple uses 500 million dollars yearly. 
    Nokia uses 5.5 billion dollars yearly, Microsoft uses 9.5 billion dollars.
    In both companies cases the stuff is actually r&d heavy stuff that will many cases used accross the industry, but is under the metal type of stuff. Nokia and MS need to be paid for what they have actually paid, and more. 
  • Keep in mind that spending don't really matter since Microsoft makes way more than mobile phones. Were talking about operating systems, pc software, hardware, gaming systems, gaming software, publishing, office products etc. So spending 9.5billion isn't really alot compared to google with making free OS, mobile OS, search engine etc. Most of google products are taken from other ideas such as Linux or yahoo so it's a little bit easier on them since they don't have to write brand new code as Microsoft does now.
  • thats a big load of crap.
  • Next time you go shopping find me a google keyboard and mouse set
  • Low blow Google. This is what Google does when they realize that the ideas they stole from Linux OS are too cheap and start to break apart. They rather blame the guy who worked years to create a brand new OS from scratch.
  • I'm really starting to despise Google. And I, for one, am getting tired of these IP wars. Patent and Copyright reform is so long overdue... Seriously, this is just sad.
  • "We agree with Google that Android devices have significant IP infringement issues, and would welcome constructive efforts to stop unauthorised use of Nokia intellectual property." by Nokia,
    Best comment in awhile, wonder if Google feels the burn now
  • exactly. That is a beautiful quote. I wonder what googles's response will be. If they respond
  • Probably something childish but in a business format.
  • Google's response: "Well they started it!"
  • Yeah somebody needs to call the BURN unit on that one!
  • Funny coming from Google, the company that virtually ignores intellectual property, copyrights, and patents when it's in their favor.
  • Mwahahahahaha, suck it google. Looking kinda scared there. You've been avoiding making your apps available to WP, better rethink that approach. WP FTW!!!!!!
  • you are right. Google is bullish with the apps, and then cry foul about patents they Re guilty of abusing. also of note, Ms is publishing apps on ios and android
  • Its basically sabotage. They've made there apps available to ios and don't want to help make WP a viable option, which is fine. But then don't go crying when MS and Nokia start kicking ass
  • If youre talking about apps for WP, read on. I know bullish sounds like a negative word, but actually is positive:
    characterized by favorable economic prospects.
    Informal.regarding a particular investment as potentially profitable (often fol. by on): We're still bullish on treasury bonds.
    hopeful; optimistic
  • If I was Microsoft or Nokia don't be scared of Google has they know there phone OS totally sucks which is king of battery eating and laggy phones. I hope Microsoft and Nokia put Google down for good. They are jealous windows phone is taking off very well for past months and still doing great. Just because windows phone killed blackberry rim off market google is thinking where next hahahah android phones are just total crap new or old they are always end of crap has look at all who gotten infected by malware virus and still getting hit by virues. Keep up good work on windows phone and for sure they know windows phone 8 going to turn thinks around the mobile field when it comes.
  • I think they are starting to. MIcrosoft is not even google develop a metro google chrome right now. This is a huge disaster for them. Ms only let's them use desktop and x86 they know windows 8 would be a success. That's why they are crying about it
  • Oh, shut the f#$@ up already, Google...
  • Poor, Poor, GooGoo... Don't Cry...
  • U get the middle finger from me GOOGLE
  • LOL! Google should look at themselves (Motorola anyone?)
  • Motorola = useless piece of garbage. Oh that's why google is buying it.
  • I think Google fears the possibility of OEMs supporting Windows RT slates at a level similar to OEM commitment to Android over WP. This in turn could result in people offering more consideration to Windows Phone. Basically an inverse of Apple's iPad gaining traction thanks to iPhone/iPod touch.
  • Interesting point, windows8 is just so much more than android on a tablet. There is even that win8 app which seamlessly integrates all your android apps... Android has just been filling in whilst a real OS is being built, tantrums await..
  • Exactly, even Windows RT looks to be a solid option. It seems limited in comparison to Windows 8, but with enough app devs, OEM support and competitive price points, the tablet market is ripe for shifts. If enough people enjoy Metro, they'll consider it for their phone, and Apollo handsets are whole other ballgame compared to current WPs in specs.
  • Funny. Rip off apple with android and buy Motorola thinking you invented the cell phone. Google is the true beta tester as all if their products are beta and beta worthy. All hail Nokia!!!
  • Im so glad I jumped off the google wagon years has always been a solid company in my eyes and Im looking forward to their return to dominance. Open source scares the hell outta me, i want to pick up and play, not tweek and tweek and tweek to hopefully make it work right. Androids in trouble and they know it...especially in tablets, windows will be side by side with apple in that arena, just like it is with pcs...and google is going to be left in the dust!! Hahahahaha, you had a nice run, welcome to third place...
  • Agreed.
  • Muhahahahaha! Mommy, they said they would be mean to me!
    Can't quite see either court taking a lawsuit about what an organization two other companies have a stake in may do some day in the future. How ridiculous is that?
  • Why I sometimes extremely hate Google. Why don't they try to make their own ideas?? Besides, why do they want to make money from phones when they are busy selling people's personal information?
  • Booooogle! Suing is often the last resort when you run out of ideas. Let the legal dept take over.
  • Google never had any ideas.. They just stole them.
  • Shut up google. Android can BURN with you
  • They think they could just bought Android and copied a bunch of things in Android then get away with it.  They need better programmers to fix their beta OS that freezes, has lots of bugs and lag.
  • Weak.
  • Just pitiful.
  • You thought the patent wars were over? Isn't this a tech news site? If it wasn't for ownership debates the tech news industry would have 25% less article posts.
  • All three operating systems are needed for growth of mobile technology. I love WP7 but IMHO iOS, Android, and WP are perfectly different and I can't wait to see how they compete in the next few years.
  • Errr..... They are inferior Os.. and android does look like it tried to mimic iphone OS but with widgets to make it more lesss boring ...
  • Goggle needs to learn that if they are going to throw punches... they better expect to get hit back....
  • I dislike Google more and more. I am glad I left Android a few months ago. They are only acting childish and I guess it's because they really feel threatened. I have now decided to fully stop using their services because of their childish behaviour.
    Android IS laggy and buggy. End of story. It will not get better as its getting more and more fragmented by the day. They made wrong decisions from the go and it's too late for them to make the needed changes so instead they rely on crap like this.
    As soon as someone has a problem with Android phone, the response is always "flash a custom rom". Even as response to the new Samsung S3 already!! I mean, how many of the millions of buyers know what a custom rom is, and how to flash it? Having custom roms as a "benefit" is not really a benefit. And only shows how fragmented the OS really is. Why the hell should someone NEED to flash a custom rom to a NEW phone to make it work alright for them?
    Android is burning and it will show. Maybe not just now. But wait a few years...
  • What I noticed from help forums with google is that instead of mentioning flashing roms they'll tell you to deal with the actual manufacturer. So they'll tell you "talk to Motorola" even though software part is completely theirs