Google and the Bullies Who Are Not Googley

August 3, 2011

I am tired, in a weird time zone, and in a place that looks like the moon. I took time out from some exciting meetings to read “When Patents Attack Android”. I would have made “android” plural, that’s why I am in the middle of nowhere and Google is sitting on top of the mobile world. Well, not exactly on top because of the pesky Apple, but Google is within striking distance. In one of the many, many Google blogs, Googlers make pithy statements about technology, the world, and getting picked on by uncouth bullies. I am sympathetic. No, I really am. If you were to aim an Attensity or Lexalytics super duper sentiment scooper at me, I would be teary, snuffling, and plagued with hot flashes. I empathize. I really, really do. Here’s the passage that tugged at my frontal cortex empathy

…[Google competitors are] doing this by banding together to acquire Novell’s old patents (the “CPTN” group including Microsoft and Apple) and Nortel’s old patents (the “Rock star” group including Microsoft and Apple), to make sure Google didn’t get them; seeking $15 licensing fees for every Android device; attempting to make it more expensive for phone manufacturers to license Android (which we provide free of charge) than Windows Mobile; and even suing Barnes & Noble, HTC, Motorola, and Samsung. Patents were meant to encourage innovation, but lately they are being used as a weapon to stop it.

When I read this, I thought about Foundem and the other companies who have found Google so sympathetic. I recall meeting Google Search Appliance licensees thrilled with the prompt, helpful, 24X7 customer support. I recall remarks by Web sites whose traffic dropped after Panda strolled through town telling me that their Google representatives were able to answer questions, provide suggested remedies, and volunteering to speak with the keepers of the Page Ran algorithm.

How unjust that competitors are taking action against Google. Ah, ingratitude thy names are plentiful as the monikers of he who rules. I must weep like a guitar purchased from iTunes. I must read about ingratitude in a book from Amazon. I must consult a higher power, an oracle with a mug of Java with unfounded allegations of impropriety by helpless Googlers. Cease. Bully not the Google.

Stephen E Arnold, August 3, 2011

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