For years we've pointed out that among big tech companies, patents represent more of a nuclear stockpiling strategy
, where they build up a bunch, and if anyone else sues them they can sue back. In theory, this should prevent a lot of patent lawsuits, but patent nuclear wars do break out every so often. These days, it seems like the whole smartphone patent thicket
is leading to quite a few nuclear blowups:
We've seen patent suits and countersuits involving HTC and Apple
as well as Nokia and Apple
. Apparently we can now add Motorola and Microsoft to the list. We had already covered how Microsoft had sued Motorola
for its use of Android. Things escalated when Microsoft sued Motorola again
arguing that the royalties Motorola was charging for certain patents licensed, for use in the Xbox, were inflated.
In response, Motorola quickly spun around and countersued Microsoft
, claiming that Microsoft infringed on 16 of its patents. The countersuit took all of one day to go out, suggesting Motorola certainly had it ready. In the end of course, the lawyers will make plenty of money and products we all buy will be more expensive. Just the way the patent system was supposed to work, right?