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Google Accuses Microsoft, Nokia of Patent Conspiracy

Reuters reports that Google just filed a formal complaint with the European Commission stating that Microsoft and Nokia have conspired to use their patents against smartphone industry rivals.

According to Google's complaint, Microsoft and Nokia are using proxy companies to brandish patents and hurt the future of Android. Currently Google's mobile OS commands the smartphone sector, as it's provided free to manufacturers. The OS can also be used on tablets and other form factors.

Google's complaint claims that Microsoft and Nokia have transferred 1,200 patents for assertion to a proxy company called Mosaid Technologies. Google described this group as a "patent troll," or a holder of patents that litigates them aggressively and shares the resulting revenue.

Google described its filing as a pre-emptive measure against a developing legal hazard for Android partners. The company wants to prevent a possible threat that could push its partners into using Windows Phone instead.

"Nokia and Microsoft are colluding to raise the costs of mobile devices for consumers, creating patent trolls that side-step promises both companies have made," Google said in a statement. "They should be held accountable, and we hope our complaint spurs others to look into these practices."

The search engine giant said that Nokia is betraying its previous commitments to open-source software -- which uses collective engineering -- by colluding with Microsoft and Mosaid. It's also betraying the protection of essential technologies from legal threats.

News of Google's complaint follows a letter submitted to the Justice Department back in October by an attorney for Barnes & Noble. The complaint said that Microsoft's partnership with Mosaid is evidence of "Microsoft's broader plan to shield itself from patent lawsuits while also eliminating competition from Android."

Both Microsoft and Nokia have declined to comment on the new complaint. Google stated that it plans to share its complaint with U.S. competition regulators.