No longer under constraint, Microsoft hopes to bring the fight back with Windows 8. Despite the anti-Apple rhetoric, Microsoft's Ballmer is perfectly capable of striking a deal with his old adversary -- note the patent sharing agreements between Apple and the company when it comes to tablet and smartphone technologies. The deal won't let either party copy each other's products, but does allow them to use similar technologies.
It's amazing what you can do with a licensing agreement.
It saves millions in legal costs.
Google faces challenge
Apple had offered Samsung licensing deals. It was only after it did so that it decided to submit to the legal process. "We chose legal action very reluctantly and only after repeatedly asking Samsung to stop copying our work. For us this lawsuit has always been about something much more important than patents or money,'' Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement following the judgment.
It isn't as if Samsung -- for all its protests -- really had to take it to the courts. Presumably similar deals have been offered to Google, but that company has its own problems respecting privacy and copyright.
Google appears to see all ideas as nothing more than data, which should be freely available to all. It isn't alone. Many seem to agree that music should be free, data should be free, that patent and copyright are enemies of human creativity. There are merits to the argument. However, Google's true position is best illustrated by the enthusiasm with which it shares its (in some cases Stanford University-licensed) search logarithms with competitors in the search industry. Clearly it places a great deal of value in some patented ideas.
The threat Google faces when Apple's legal team deliver their court summons to Google headquarters is written within the company's own history. That history shows many instances in which critics argue it could have been more generous in respecting the rights of intellectual property holders.
Apple's team needs only to illustrate this to the jury, and the stage could be set for the team to diminish Google's counter-arguments during the trial.
In this regard it shouldn't really matter how many FRAND-based counter suits Google might wave at Cupertino. That strategy is deeply damaging and threatens to shatter the consensus principles which make industry standard technologies such as 4G or Wi-Fi or even HTML 5 possible.
I'd argue that abuse of FRAND agreements by Google and its satellites could raise even more attention from anti-trust authorities worldwide. Though I'm not a lawyer and you shouldn't take any of these statements as anything more than personal opinion.
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