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Motorola signals intent to begin patent action against other Android licensees

post #1 of 89
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While Google has accused Apple, Microsoft and Oracle of a conspiracy to bring down its Android platform using patent infringement claims, Google's own licensees are suing each other, with Motorola intimating its intent to join this trend.

Motorola is one of few companies to move exclusively to Google's Android platform; Samsung, LG, HTC and other leading mobile makers have retained relationships with Microsoft's Windows Phone 7, or maintain their own mobile platform, like Samsung's Bada.

Licensees of Android have largely joined Google's program with the intent of sharing the costs of mobile development to benefit from economies of scale and avoid the risk and expense of developing their own proprietary mobile software.

However, that doesn't mean they plan to remain loyal to Android to a fault. Speaking at the Oppenheimer Technology and Communications Conference, Motorola Mobility's chairman and chief executive Dr. Sanjay Jha indicated that his company planned to leverage its differentiation among other Android licenses by seeking royalties from its intellectual property war chest.

"We have a very large IP portfolio," Jha stated, "and I think in the long term, as things settle down, you will see a meaningful difference in positions of many different Android players. Both, in terms of avoidance of royalties, as well as potentially being able to collect royalties. And that will make a big difference to people who have very strong IP positions.

Motorola's saber rattling is not new, as the company has already launched patent claims against Apple starting in October of 2010. Apple responded with patent counterclaims of its own, and has since acted to broaden an injunction that successfully stopped Samsung's Galaxy Tab sales in Europe to also cover Motorola's Xoom.

This spring, Motorola was also reported to have started work on its own web-based mobile operating system independent from Android as a skunkworks project.

Jha had noted a year ago during the company's earnings call that "Ive always felt that owning your OS is important, provided you have an ecosystem, you have all the services and you have an ability and the scale to execute on keeping that OS at the leading edge. And I continue to believe that at some point, if we have all of those attributes, that owning our own OS will be a very important thing."

Motorola's extensive mobile patent portfolio, combined with its interests in owning its own OS, could push Google to add its current Android licensee to the list of companies it is accusing of waging an "organized campaign" against Android once Motorola begins its attempts to monetize its intellectual property in a way that interferes with Google's efforts to monetize the mobile devices running its software platform.

In the most recent quarter, Motorola joined fellow beleaguered Android licensees LG and Sony Ericsson in actually losing money in the mobile phone market.
post #2 of 89
Say YES to Patent Reform!
post #3 of 89
Last Man Standing...
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post #4 of 89
Android is not looking so hot right now. While it's doing well in the short term, the long term prospects don't look so good as quite a few OEMs won't have a portfolio of patents to protect themselves against incoming litigation. We can see that Google's success in mobile has been propelled by carriers so if they were to choose to back another horse per se, it's game over.

Perhaps Google should have thought more seriously about this before rushing to compete with the iPhone.
post #5 of 89
Oh my - some android fans heads are going to explode at this.
post #6 of 89
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Originally Posted by droideggs View Post

Say YES to Patent Reform!

Why? The only thing I have issue with is the fact that the USPTO is overburdened in their efforts to research and determine whether or not many of these patents are infringing. Handing over this research to the private sector would be even less realistic and possibly more prone to bribery or theft.

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post #7 of 89
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Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post

Oh my - some android fans heads are going to explode at this.

It really is funny, I hope none of them suffer serious injury.
post #8 of 89
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Originally Posted by Robodude View Post

Android is not looking so hot right now. While it's doing well in the short term, the long term prospects don't look so good as quite a few OEMs won't have a portfolio of patents to protect themselves against incoming litigation. We can see that Google's success in mobile has been propelled by carriers so if they were to choose to back another horse per se, it's game over.

Perhaps Google should have thought more seriously about this before rushing to compete with the iPhone.

Against Motorola? The android market is still exploding at the moment, and carriers aren't backing WP7 because of how poorly advertised it is.

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post #9 of 89
Motorola is a very old company as today's players go--back to the age of radios. God knows what a fat file of arcane patents they have. Most probably irrelevant today, but you never know.
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post #10 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Why? The only thing I have issue with is the fact that the USPTO is overburdened in their efforts to research and determine whether or not many of these patents are infringing. Handing over this research to the private sector would be even less realistic and possibly more prone to bribery or theft.

You'll love this patent dashboard.

http://www.uspto.gov/dashboards/patents/main.dashxml
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post #11 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

Motorola is a very old company as today's players go--back to the age of radios. God knows what a fat file of arcane patents they have. Most probably irrelevant today, but you never know.

Don't ever doubt Motorola's LTE patent portfolio...
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post #12 of 89
This is funny.
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post #13 of 89
See? Between Apple suing a few of the manufacturers, Motorola suing the other manufacturers, and Oracle suing Google, Android's days are numbered.

Apple doesn't have to kill Android. It'll kill itself.

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post #14 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Why? The only thing I have issue with is the fact that the USPTO is overburdened in their efforts to research and determine whether or not many of these patents are infringing. Handing over this research to the private sector would be even less realistic and possibly more prone to bribery or theft.

The issue is what should be patentable, and for how long. 2-3 Year patents should have a fast-track approach, but with protection only for someone making something. Software should fall into this category if truly worthy of a patent. If not patentable, a 10 year copyright or trademark protection might be more appropriate.

Saying USPTO is over burdened and starved for funds is disingenuous.
post #15 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

Don't ever doubt Motorola's LTE patent portfolio...

One of the reasons Google wanted Nortel's IP.
post #16 of 89
Only 14 sentences in that entire article.
Kinda run out of breath reading it...
post #17 of 89
No source? Just conjecture?
post #18 of 89
I wonder if this pushed them in this direction.
post #19 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by SockRolid View Post

See? Between Apple suing a few of the manufacturers, Motorola suing the other manufacturers, and Oracle suing Google, Android's days are numbered.

Apple doesn't have to kill Android. It'll kill itself.

you do realize that less competition = worst for the consumer?

i never understood why folks want to eliminate competition...

its like saying.. gee, i hope Comcast is the one and only ISP left in the country...
post #20 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by droideggs View Post

you do realize that less competition = worst for the consumer?

You do realise that taking someone else's IP and giving it away isn't "innovation"?
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post #21 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by droideggs View Post

you do realize that less competition = worst for the consumer?

i never understood why folks want to eliminate competition...

its like saying.. gee, i hope Comcast is the one and only ISP left in the country...

You're making the mistake of confusing adding players to a game and increasing fair competition. There are more than a few examples in nature to prove how your view is misguided. For it to be best for customers it has to be good for the environment as a whole. That means creating a homeostasis.
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post #22 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

Motorola is a very old company as today's players go--back to the age of radios. God knows what a fat file of arcane patents they have. Most probably irrelevant today, but you never know.

Don't patents have a time limit? I thought they used to be 7 years, or something like that.
post #23 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by SockRolid View Post

See? Between Apple suing a few of the manufacturers, Motorola suing the other manufacturers, and Oracle suing Google, Android's days are numbered.

Apple doesn't have to kill Android. It'll kill itself.

I hope so.

I've always thought that the one, original, non-patent encumbered mobile operating system (WebOS), is a much better candidate for an alternative to iOS. I think iOS is the best, but it does need some healthy competition. The fact that the main competition so far is the horribly buggy, slow, obscene copy of iOS known as Android has always seemed rather sad to me.

Android doesn't deserve to be number two and never has. WebOS is not only a great alternative, it's actually a more open OS using freely available technology that also runs on iOS anyway. It's only the aggressive dishonest tactics of Google and the ineptitude and general stupidity of HP that has got us to where we are today.
post #24 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by droideggs View Post

you do realize that less competition = worst for the consumer?

That's not always true, in the case of platforms more competition can actually be worse, competition is usually good for the consumer, but not always. Let's give a concrete example - high def video. Blu-Ray versus HD-DVD didn't benefit consumers, it left a bunch of people who bought HD-DVDs with some wasted purchases, and if people do end up going fully digital distribution even blu-rays may just end up as expensive coasters.

Competition in platforms can sometimes just result in needless fragmentation.
post #25 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

While Google has accused Apple, Microsoft and Oracle of a conspiracy to bring down its Android platform using patent infringement claims, Google's own licensees are suing each other. . .

They are? Which member of the Open Handset Alliance is suing another member over Android IP? I don't believe AI's claim is true.
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post #26 of 89
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Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post

That's not always true, in the case of platforms more competition can actually be worse, competition is usually good for the consumer, but not always. Let's give a concrete example - high def video. Blu-Ray versus HD-DVD didn't benefit consumers, it left a bunch of people who bought HD-DVDs with some wasted purchases, and if people do end up going fully digital distribution even blu-rays may just end up as expensive coasters.

Competition in platforms can sometimes just result in needless fragmentation.

That would only be the same type of comparison if Sony (for instance) had been the only supplier of Blue-ray. But they aren't, thus there's competition. In the case of iOS being the lone smartphone or tablet operating system, there would be no competition. Apple won't allow anyone else to license their OS.
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post #27 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by droideggs View Post

you do realize that less competition = worst for the consumer?

i never understood why folks want to eliminate competition...

its like saying.. gee, i hope Comcast is the one and only ISP left in the country...

Hoping Android dies and iOS needing competition are not incompatible goals. Besides, Android is not likely to just "die" it will be forked a few times first.

Even if we assume Android is on the road to destruction, next year we will probably all be talking about Android(Amazon) and Android(Motorola) at least. And like Linux, even long after it's viable, there will be geeky startups that use the code for some david and goliath type product that they hope will "take over mobile" in the same way that the Linux guys have said for years it would take over the desktop.

The enthusiasm and hopes of open source promoters in that regard is really only matched by the depths of their misunderstanding of what real people actually want.
post #28 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

That would only be the same type of comparison if Sony (for instance) had been the only supplier of Blue-ray. But they aren't, thus there's competition. In the case of iOS being the lone smartphone or tablet operating system, there would be no competition. Apple won't allow anyone else to license their OS.

Ok, consider the eBook format wars we're currently in. Amazon is the only seller of Kindle, Apple is the only seller of iBooks. The competition between them isn't meaningfully benefitting consumers, and if they competed more seriously and had exclusive content (as Blu-ray/HD-DVD did) that would be wretched for consumers.

I agree that within a platform competition is almost always good, but between platforms it's something of a mixed bag.
post #29 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by ruel24 View Post

Don't patents have a time limit? I thought they used to be 7 years, or something like that.

14 years for design, 20 years for other. so, yeah, they kinda outlast todays tech turnaround and lead to single parties owning a market.
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post #30 of 89
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Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

The enthusiasm and hopes of open source promoters in that regard is really only matched by the depths of their misunderstanding of what real people actually want.

If you read on sites other than AI you'll quickly realize that's there's a significant percentage of buyers that actually want Android, even if they can buy an Apple device cheaper. It's not just a poor man's replacement for iOS.
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post #31 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

Hoping Android dies and iOS needing competition are not incompatible goals. Besides, Android is not likely to just "die" it will be forked a few times first.

Even if we assume Android is on the road to destruction, next year we will probably all be talking about Android(Amazon) and Android(Motorola) at least. And like Linux, even long after it's viable, there will be geeky startups that use the code for some david and goliath type product that they hope will "take over mobile" in the same way that the Linux guys have said for years it would take over the desktop.

The enthusiasm and hopes of open source promoters in that regard is really only matched by the depths of their misunderstanding of what real people actually want.

Why would you hope android would die other than some selfish / childish notion that apple is the only one who should make products? In no way shape or form are you suffering from other people buying android devices.
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post #32 of 89
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Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

If you read on sites other than AI you'll quickly realize that's there's a significant percentage of buyers that actually want Android, even if they can buy an Apple device cheaper. It's not just a poor man's replacement for iOS.

afaik there aren't any Android handsets that are more expensive than an iP4. I don't even know if there are any significantly more expensive than the 3GS, though that seems more plausible.

I'm not arguing that there aren't people who like Android, but I don't think there are enough to allow for iPhone level premium priced Android handsets.
post #33 of 89
Looks like Google and its Twisted Sisters aren't such a happy Android family after all. Motorola is to protect its own patents has to be an irony even Google might chuckle over. The nasty hags have tasted the sweet free patens of others, it was only to be expected they'd be turning on their own kind in time. Android family cannibalism, now that is a movie in the making.

So, knives are out, it's party time . . .

To be Continued.

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post #34 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

You're making the mistake of confusing adding players to a game and increasing fair competition. There are more than a few examples in nature to prove how you're view is misguided. For it to be best for customers it has to be good for the environment. That means creating a homeostasis.

huh? you're comparing tech industry to nature? this makes 0 sense.
post #35 of 89
Good for Motorola, Microsoft shouldn't be the only company making money from Android.

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post #36 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by droideggs View Post

huh? you're comparing tech industry to nature? this makes 0 sense.

You're honestly saying you've never heard ecological systems compared to other aspects of civilization? Not once? Never heard the iOS App Store referred to as an ecosystem? Eco doesn't mean economics or electronics.
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post #37 of 89
what do you receive by seeing android, blackberry iOS, webOS, or windows phone seven fail? Do you get a fat check by some unknown entity? Does your hours get a an addition? You know what happens? Nothing the consumer sees no benefit, the stock holder sees a slight increase if another player doesn't show up soon.

Besides for google they have won already. Google only looses out if you buy a windows phone 7 device otherwise they make money. Apple in reality does not compete with google they compete with the oems that make Android devices. Apple is a digital content provider and a hardware manufacturer. Ios is made not be sold but to sell apple hardware. Google only competes with microsoft who makes rival Apps to google own money makers making them a real threat to google. However at this time of a rapidly growing market all of this cutthoat business practices are not needed there are billions of consumers for everyone to make a hefty penny.
post #38 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

You're making the mistake of confusing adding players to a game and increasing fair competition. There are more than a few examples in nature to prove how you're view is misguided. For it to be best for customers it has to be good for the environment. That means creating a homeostasis.

This. For goddess sake a million times over this.

The tired old "more competition is better" crap is not only a heavily qualified statement dependent upon the type of competition, but is also often wrong in basic services. "More competition" is the reason the cell companies in America are so far behind the countries where it was well regulated. "More competition" doesn't magically make a service better. It can in fact make it worse as companies find ways to trap consumers rather than providing service.

This post should automatically appear every time some dolt says "sounds like more competition! good for me!"
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post #39 of 89
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Originally Posted by shen View Post

This. For goddess sake a million times over this.

The tired old "more competition is better" crap is not only a heavily qualified statement dependent upon the type of competition, but is also often wrong in basic services. "More competition" is the reason the cell companies in America are so far behind the countries where it was well regulated. "More competition" doesn't magically make a service better. It can in fact make it worse as companies find ways to trap consumers rather than providing service.

This post should automatically appear every time some dolt says "sounds like more competition! good for me!"

The messed up US cellular industry is indeed a great example of consumer-negative platform competition. Nice post.
post #40 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post

afaik there aren't any Android handsets that are more expensive than an iP4. I don't even know if there are any significantly more expensive than the 3GS, though that seems more plausible.

I'm not arguing that there aren't people who like Android, but I don't think there are enough to allow for iPhone level premium priced Android handsets.

At ATT the 3GS is just $50. Yet they sell millions of Android smartphones, many at much higher prices, instead of the "cheap" iPhone. Verizon has the iPhone 4G (16gb) at $199, yet Verizon sells millions of Android phones for as much or more (some MUCH more) like the Droid Charge, Droid 3, Droid Incredible or the HTC Thunderbolt. And these are just US carriers. In GB you can get an iPhone free with some plans. Yet millions choose to go Android rather than take the "cheap" iPhone. Add the millions of Samsung Galaxy S2's sold for the same general price as Apple's 4G iPhone, even when consumers have the choice of either one.
http://www.differencebetween.com/dif...pple-iphone-4/

I have no idea why so many here think the only reason Android sells at all is
A. It's cheap
B. It's a geek thing
C. Both of the above

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