Google has been built around one central rule, which many are familiar with, "Don't Be Evil." Though lots of folk have questioned and doubted the actions of Big-G in the past, on account of privacy rules changes, and data collection. The running of an empire is messy business (And yes I think Google is an empire), but they seem to be trying to prove that one can be a just ruler over the large tracks internet, rather than turning into a gulag running dictator.
Recently Google showed its mettle, by announcing it's agreement to a Open Patent Non-Assertion Pledge (OPN). The OPN effectively states that Google will not litigate against any developer, or distributor of open source code, under certain patents, though they will retaliate if sued. This isn't a first for Google, as they are also a member of OIN a Linux cooperative, which counts Red Hat as a member too, and have a similar agenda to what the OPN is aiming at.
This move is to prevent more patent wars, something that occurs within the tech industry frequently; often for no purpose but to crush possible competition with a brigade of well paid, pen wielding lawyers, in order to have a company go bankrupt defending themselves in court.
If you would like to read more, Duane Valz has written 'Taking a stand on open source and patents' for Google's Public Policy Blog.