Oracle, Apple, Microsoft, Gemalto, British Telecom, Nokia and now Fujifilm- Google’s Android seems to have unwillingly become an enticing lawsuit magnet. Fujifilm became the 7th company with multi-billion dollar capitalization to lay patent infringement claims against Google.
On Friday, Fujifilm filed a litigation claiming infringement of four of its patents against Google’s Android OS. This comes as a surprise as Fujifilm has mostly been on back-foot with issues like patent litigation, as so far it has only brought declaratory judgment actions or action suits.
However, this provocative step comes in the aftermath of failing to work out a license deal with Google. Fujifilm reportedly has been trying to work the issue out since April 2011, but was left empty-handed each time. Fujifilm thereby looks to bring justice to its patents by reaching out to top-level courts.
The combined market capitalization value of all these seven companies today would be worth more than $ 1.03 trillion, almost 5 times the market capitalization of Google ($ 188 billion). There is also one more to the list-eBay, which has asserted trade secrets, a different kind of intellectual property. .
Though some experts smell some deep-rooted conspiracy behind the filing of lawsuits over and over again against Android, the claims of the companies which file these petitions are too diversified to term this is a well-planned plot.
The worrisome point nevertheless is the ease with which litigations are filed in courts against Android. Surprisingly, that’s not the case with Apple, which so far has been sued by only two multi-billion dollar companies- Eastman Kodak and Nokia. The Nokia issue has already been put to bed with Nokia and Apple mutually agreeing on some terms, in order to resolve the issue.
Apple lovers very well have their say on this. Apple seems to do a better job at working out license deals or non-aggression pacts with others in the industry. They know that the commercial success of platform is just one of the relevant factors. Last week, we published how Android held over 51% shares in the market and how it thwacked Apple in the smartphone segment. However, Android IP issues are over and above the popularity and adaptability of the OS, It’s a pretty deep-rooted problem.
Google as usual has been in denial mode, rejecting the claims and calling them preposterous. Though Google’s defensive capabilities are admirable, they cannot shrug off all the claims laid on them. As a matter of fact, Google has already been proved guilty in infringing some patents by the apex courts, in the lawsuit filed by Apple and Microsoft.
Conversely, we also know how Google has thwacked Oracle over its dubious patent claims and demanded for whopping $4 million legal fees.
Will Fujifilm succeed in defaming the search-giant or would Google teach the Japanese brand a lesson or two on filing litigations? Whichever way it goes, we expect Google to come out of the denial mode and deliver some tangible statements supporting its current stand.
On an ending note, we wonder, what makes Android- a lawsuit magnet? Is it the prominence or the open-source foundation, or is it something else?
Share your thoughts.
[UPDATE] The source of this elicitation can be found here. Sincere apologies for upholding such a provocative piece as we know the topic (patent claims) has always been quite controversial and hazy enough to be put up. Florian Mueller as per our sources is just a consultant at Oracle. The article thereby aims at catching the insight rather than showing a apocryphal picture.