Motorola Mobility has filed suit again Apple with the International Trade Commission (ITC) over patents reportedly related to Apple's personal digital assistant feature, Siri and more. Patent suits between Apple and various Android manufacturers are a dime a dozen these days, but what makes this one stand out is that a) Google now owns Motorola, b) Google previously tried to manipulate public sentiment by claiming Apple sought to litigate instead of innovate, c) Google is now litigating. Bloomberg reports:
The complaint at the U.S. International Trade Commission claims infringement of seven Motorola Mobility patents on features including location reminders, e-mail notification and phone/video players, Motorola Mobility said today. The case seeks a ban on U.S. imports of devices including the iPhone, iPad and Mac computers. Apple’s products are made in Asia.
Of course, Google and Motorola are well within their legal rights to sue Apple or anyone whom they believe is infringing on their patents without proper license. Once again, it's not what Google does, but the needless hypocrisy they preface it with that's so distasteful.
Using feigned philosophy and nobility to motivate and mobilize the support of a user base is one thing, but conning them is another. It happened before when Google claimed to be "open" and turned out to barely even be "openy. Lucky for Google, many don't pay attention -- or turn a blind eye -- to the details. But even the most ardent, least attentive supporter will eventually figure out they're being played. Then Google will enjoy the equal and opposite reaction.
With these lawsuits, Google is doing what Google feel they have to do. Just like Apple's doing with their lawsuits. That's fine. Any company sufficiently large is indistinguishable from evil. Just be candid with your users about it. Tell them you're going thermonuclear. Don't hold up a dove and play a hippie jingle, all the while lighting up the napalm.
Update: Go read Jerry Hildenbrand's take over at Android Central.
While you cheer and say Apple deserves a taste of their own medicine, I'll be here thinking of the people who might be saving to buy an iPad, only to (potentially) have the opportunity taken away -- by Google. That makes me sad, and seeing Android fans cheer in droves makes me even sadder. We pride ourselves on the choice Android and Google give us, so seeing them try to take away a fair choice is not something I can support. Don't be evil, Google. Even when the other kids on the playground are.