"It was always known that Quinn Emanuel was close to Google, and it was hardly a coincidence that all those Android device makers turned to that firm," said Mueller. "But the fact that they make a filing on Google's behalf here -- though they also represent Motorola in the same investigation -- is interesting. The latest motion is a more direct kind of intervention than anything they previously did on Google's behalf."
Earlier this month, Google's chief legal officer accused Microsoft, Apple and Oracle of waging a "hostile, organized campaign against Android" using patent claims, and promised it would stop "those who are trying to strangle it."
Mueller didn't give Motorola much of a chance in the Microsoft patent challenge, and believes the ITC action presents Google and Android with its toughest test.
"I think Google is extremely afraid of the outcome of this particular ITC investigation," said Mueller. "All of the infringement assertions that Microsoft brought relate to the Android codebase. If this investigation finds Motorola and, in fact, all Android devices to infringe various valid Microsoft patents, all of Google's hardware partners will have to pay royalties to Microsoft."
Microsoft declined to comment today on Google's motion before the ITC.
Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed. His email address is email@example.com.
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