The war of words between Google and Microsoft continues with the latter responding to the former's initial response. (UPDATE: And then another response to that response)
Yes, we're getting confused too.
Earlier in the day, we reported about Microsoft's response to Google's patent blog. The original blog from Google's chief legal officer David Drummond accused Apple and Microsoft of teaming up with each other and other tech firms to halt Android's success. They did this, he said, by acquiring more than a thousand patents from Nortel and Novell. The goal, he says, is to hike up the price that it costs manufacturers to license Android phones.
Microsoft's Vice President of Corporate Communications for Microsoft Frank Shaw swiftly responded via Twitter. He tweeted a picture of an email from Google's Kent Walker to Microsoft's Brad Smith which indicated Microsoft offered Google a chance to bid with the group and Google didn't want to.
In the alleged email, Walker wrote to Smith:
"After talking with people here, it sounds as though for various reasons a joint bid wouldn't be advisable for us on this one. But I appreciate your flagging it, and we're open to discussing other similar opportunities in the future."
Smith confirmed this via his twitter saying, "Google says we bought Novell patents to keep them from Google. Really? We asked them to bid jointly with us. They said no."
Well, Google has responded to this response. In an update to yesterday's blog post, Drummond dismissed Microsoft's email as a "false gotcha." He said Microsoft didn't address the substance behind the email.
Here's Google's response:
"If you think about it, it's obvious why we turned down Microsoft's offer," Drummond said. "Microsoft's objective has been to keep from Google and Android device-makers any patents that might be used to defend against their attacks. A joint acquisition of the Novell patents that gave all parties a license would have eliminated any protection these patents could offer to Android against attacks from Microsoft and its bidding partners."
He said they didn't fall for this strategy. He then pointed to the U.S. Department of Justice forcing Microsoft and co. to give a license to the open-source community to protect competition as reaffirming Google's original point.
UPDATE: Microsoft's Shaw once again went to Twitter to respond. He said Google is the one who wanted to use the patents against competitors.
"Hello again David Drummond. This is going to take a few tweets, so here we go. Let's look at what Google does not dispute in their reply. We offered Google the opportunity to bid with us to buy the Novell patents; they said no. Why? BECAUSE they wanted to buy something that they could use to assert against someone else. SO partnering with others & reducing patent liability across industry is not something they wanted to help do," Shaw said in a series of tweets.