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Patently engaged – Microsoft vs. Google – a commercial clash or a philosophical one?

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The dispute between Microsoft and Google over the Android operating system appears to have entered a new phase. Microsoft is reported to have signed licensing deals with 10 manufacturers who now pay a user fee for every smartphone and/or table that is sold. Google disputes the validity of Microsoft’s claims and the patents that underpin it.

The broader question remains whether or not these disputes are solely based on legal and commercial grounds, or are they part of a deeper philosophical divide between these companies’ perceptions about the impact of patents (and IPRs generally) on innovation and access. I bet on the latter, and its time to deal with this debate in a more open and explicit manner.

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About the Author:

Prof. Meir Pugatch specialises in intellectual property policy, management and exploitation of knowledge assets, technology transfer, market access, pharmacoeconomics and political economy of public health systems. He has extensive experience in economic and statistical modelling and indexing; valuation of assets and design of licensing agreements; and providing strategic advice to international institutions, multinational corporations and SMEs from all sectors of the knowledge economy. Meir’s work is highly international and he has wide-ranging knowledge of North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
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