Aah, if I get this correctly, Google is yet again on the wrong side. Reason: they are backtracking on an agreement made by Motorola for fair sharing of 'essential patents'. Very similar to the case which Apple has filed against them. There is a difference between the patent filings by Apple and Microsoft as opposed to this one by Google. In the formers' case, the patents they are claiming penalties for were never put up for standard usage. If they had been and they had claimed penalties on that, they would be absolutely wrong. Google's claims on the other hand, are for patents which Motorola had (stupidly in hindsight) put up as standards. Will be a tough fight this, though knowing the European courts, Microsoft will be the one paying penalty as they loathe MS.
I am not sure if H.264 can be considered a web standard. Funny enough... Microsoft here is complaining that Google is killing video on the web. Google is promoting an open source video format webm which Microsoft and Apple does not approve of. Microsoft and Apple can switch to WebM which is an open source technology for web video. But nope. They are going to stick with H.264. I had no idea that Motorola held the important patents related to H.264 which are now going to be owned by Google! Ironical? Google is in the process of removing H.264 from their Chrome browser. They probably have removed it already.
Well, there are two ways to look at this - ethical and legal. Legally, Motorola (Google) is wrong in going back on an agreement it made. Ethically, people have different opinions. Whether Apple or any other company wants to use a technology is their decision, but if they use patented stuff, they need to pay the appropriate price to the rights holder.Kind of like the debate in the last match where Ashwin genuinely ran out the Sri Lankan batsman, but Sehwag didn't appeal since it didn't look 'ethical'.
Microsoft has filed a complaint. Courts would decide. They are just extending their douchbaggery with this blog post... After their recent bullcrap attempts related to Google bypassing cookie policies in Internet Explorer and the stupid video spreading FUD about Google Apps.
And this is going to continue till the final ruling for the Android patent violations comes out in April. If Motorola is pronounced guilty, it would be a major win for Microsoft, but an even bigger loss of face for Google.
The Motorola acquisition was forced upon Google to protect itself from patent trolling by Apple and MSFT. Now all parties are suing and countersuing each other with whatever patents they have to force the market back into a balanced state where no company derives a huge advantage out of this. What is sad is that billions of dollars are being spent on these acquisitions and legal battles rather than on R&D which would actually give them a long term advantage and help out the consumers too