Google, honey, we need to talk…

Reading through this article on Google’s blog, I have to laugh at their title reference to the NPR bit that aired last week.  They’re talking about patents related to Android, of course. That, the nation’s heat wave, and the embarrassment that is our nation’s inability to balance a budget is all there is to talk about, really.

Here’s the quote that gets me:

They’re doing this by banding together to acquire Novell’s old patents (the “CPTN” group including Microsoft and Apple) and Nortel’s old patents (the “Rockstar” group including Microsoft and Apple), to make sure Google didn’t get them.

Google, if you were my friend’s boyfriend I’d label you a playah and tell her to dump you like a sack of concrete.  You have money and could have won that bid if you’d wanted to.  You chose to let those patents go and now expect us to believe that you’re mad about it? Please.

And I don’t think I buy this either:

Instead of competing by building new features or devices, they are fighting through litigation.

So, wait.  Apple doesn’t build new features or devices?  I may have been born at night but it wasn’t last night.  Not buying it.  Ditto Microsoft.  They may not be “Charlie Sheen Winning” at their new features and devices, but they are not foregoing all innovation in favor of litigation.  That’s just cooky-talk.

No, I think Google is trying to illustrate absurdity by being absurd.  I see what you’re saying and I think that ultimately, the system can’t continue to function as it is:  you’re 100% right about that.  But lets don’t go spouting off a bunch of nonsense in your blog that no one really believes.  Just come out and say “The patent system is broken and we don’t like it.”  Then come up with viable solutions instead of whining that someone beat you out on the Nortel patents and people are litigating instead of innovating.  Those things make you look stupid.

Just sayin’,

IPTT

Kettle to pot: you mean we’re BOTH black?

Anyone who’s anyone has read this by now.  There are a lot of choice nuggets to pull out and frankly, I’m at a loss with where to start.  Here, in no particular order, are my thoughts:

1.  Regarding the quote that

“…Google has very few of its own patents; with Nortel’s portfolio, it could change the balance of power in the smart-phone industry.”

Google has so much more going for it than just the smart phone industry.  Google+ will out-Facebook Facebook inside of three years, no question.  This is a very clear case of something else at work in Google’s mind, in that if Google had really wanted those patents, they’d have them.  The fact that they don’t tells you the “balance of power in the smart-phone industry” is not under the first tab of their playbook.   Great Nate said it himself: “Had [Google] simply waited for the auction, it easily could have won.”  That it didn’t and they didn’t tells you they didn’t want to.

2.  With the stalking horse bid, they forced their competitors to a) pay a &@#$-ton of money, by b) getting in bed with one another.  Google, FTW.

3.  Wait, IV was going to monetize the patents and not bring a product to market?  Is that what you meant by this, Nate?

Investment companies like mine, which had been interested in Nortel’s portfolio for its potential financial return,

Let’s refer to the glossary for a definition of Patent Troll/NPE, shall we?  Or wait, perhaps IV was going to launch its own line of smart phones using Nortel’s patents and that’s what he meant by “potential financial return”.  Hey, they could have called it the “IV-IVg”!  (Hint: use your knowledge of Roman Numerals).  Maybe that’s what he meant?

4.  This is the most disingenuous quote in the whole piece:

More importantly, this sale validates the notion that patents will be a fundamental tool in the tech industry. They had been moving toward that position for years, but the magnitude of Nortel’s sale shows that they have arrived. Patents virtually define the pharmaceutical and biotech markets, and in the future they could play the same role for tech.

Mr. Myhrvold, do you honestly expect anyone to believe that you believe that the Nortel patent sale validates patents as a fundamental tool in the tech industry?  Just now that validation happened, with this huge sale?  Really?  REALLY?  Your company has been acquiring patents on a massive scale since 2000 and finally, as we all knew would happen, sued for infringement.  You’re not fooling anyone…see post title.

Just sayin’,

IPTT