Google’s getting slammed by patents recently. They’re especially a threat to Android’s success, which Google seems to care about.
Google has very few patents relative to other large technology companies, and their dismissive behavior at the Nortel patent auction implies that they don’t think much of them.
And it’s starting to cause them a lot of trouble.
Google also has some U.S. legislative lobbying power, and a history of moderate lobbying for issues that matter to them. But most of their previously lobbied issues haven’t been as potentially disruptive to their business as a barrage of patent-infringement lawsuits.
Google is also run by geeks, and geeks generally find software patents extremely offensive.
The best thing to happen to software-patent-disliking geeks might be for Google to get their ass kicked a bit by patent litigation so they’re motivated to challenge the patent system more seriously than any of us ever could.