Although some may be skeptical as to Florian Mueller’s credentials to blog on patents, one thing is for sure and that is Mueller can read, and read it was when he uncovered a bombshell hidden in the documentation for the Oracle vs Google lawsuit today.
Although LG, HTC and Samsung seemed to be ok with the idea that Google was using their strategic purchase of Motorola to defend Android manufacturers in patent litigation, what’s been uncovered today speaks to Google’s intent with the hardware part of the business. Now, it doesn’t seem so brash that Samsung called an emergency all hands meeting at their South Korean headquarters immediately following the Motorola announcement.
Much more after the break
Mueller discovered in a document presented by Google to Judge Alsup (the judge in the Oracle case) that shows a few disturbing factors. The first is that Google isn’t as open as they claimed to be in regards to Android. The second is that they are going to let Motorola and Verizon have lead time in regards to new Android operating systems and hardware.
Ok this document is totally legit anyone with access to Lexis can retrieve it. Judge Alsup made it public. For those of you whose glasses aren’t working correctly let’s just extrapolate the part Mueller highlighted in red.
- Do not develop in the open. Instead, make source code available after innovation is complete
- Lead device concept: Give early access to the software to partners who build and distribute devices to our specification (ie, Motorola and Verizon). They get a non-contractual time to market advantage and in return they align to our standard.
As we’ve already seen Google has adhered to that “Do Not Develop In The Open” part with Honeycomb. While they’ve released the source code to all the previous versions of Android, they held back at Honeycomb citing that they needed it optimized for phones first. While that made sense at the time, we will have to see how free flowing Google is with the source code for Ice Cream Sandwitch.
The second part, puts any doubt behind us. Sure other manufactures may get the chance to release the next Nexus phone, it’s clear that Motorola will get the lead time. In fact the red highlighted part goes on to say
- They get a contractual time to market advantage and in return they align to our standard
After we hit publish we got a barrage of emails and tweet messages about the source of this piece. The document was actually reported on months ago when there was rumors that Andy Rubin was going to make Android a little more closed. As first reported on March 31, 2011 by our west coast editor Brent Fishman here, Google hopes to curb fragmentation by operating by the fundamentals above. According to one source, Motorola and Verizon were used as exampled of Good Android partners in that document before Google announced it would buy Motorola.
Over at Foss Patents, Mueller contends that if Motorola was getting favorites before the merger was announced, of course they will get favorites after the deal is done.
source: Foss Patents