Everyone loves a good catfight, and it appears two of technology’s biggest names this week might just have obliged.

Google –stung by its failure to get in on several thousand Nortel patents scooped up by its biggest rivals in the smartphone industry – cast the first stone by accusing Apple, Microsoft, Oracle – and presumably almost everyone else — of ganging up against Android and using “bogus patents” to reign in the runaway success of the mobile operating system it gives away for free.

In a very long, very public rant on its official blog, top lawyer David Drummond in particular called out Microsoft, which is also a rival in its search business, of trying to hurt Google by forging an unholy alliance with historical arch-foe Apple.

Microsoft and Apple had teamed up to acquire patents previously owned by software maker Novell and bankrupt telecom firm Nortel Networks Corp. to ensure “Google didn’t get them,” Drummond said.

Apple – in typical fashion — maintained a stony silence, but the Redmond -based technology giant was having none of it.