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Motorola purchase gives Google 17K issued, 7.5K filed patents

post #1 of 64
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With its purchase of Motorola Mobility, Google will acquire nearly 25,000 patents, including 17,000 issued, giving it greater leverage in the lawsuit-saturated Android landscape.

Taking part in a conference call to discuss Google's $12.5 billion purchase of his company, Chief Executive Sanjay Jha discussed Motorola's extensive patent portfolio. Specifically, he said Motorola has 17,000 issued patents, and 7,500 patent applications filed.

Many of those inventions are related to wireless standards, but a number of patents are also considered non-essential. Jha said that's important, because it's non-essential patents that are required to deliver competitive products to market.

Jha also said he believes Google will be able to provide much better support to the Android ecosystem with the purchase of Motorola Mobility. With the ownership of some 25,000 patents and applications, Google will be better positioned to defend the Android platform from legal challenges fired by competitors like Apple and Microsoft.

In fact, Android device makers are said to have given Google support in its acquisition of Motorola. Andy Rubin, senior vice president of mobile at Google, said he spoke with a number of companies before the deal was announced on Monday, and they welcomed the news, despite the fact that the search giant will now enter the hardware business.

"I spoke yesterday to I think it was the top five Android licensees, and they all showed very enthusiastic support for the deal," Rubin said.

He added that Android was born as an "open platform," and as such, it doesn't make sense for Android to be restricted to a single handset maker. He and other executives stressed that Google's support for its Android partners will continue.

"It's business as usual for Android," Rubin said. "I see it as basically protecting the ecosystem and extending it as well."



Google's chief legal officer, David C. Drummond, said he expects his company will be granted regulatory approval of the Motorola deal. He noted that Google has not traditionally been in the hardware business.

As for Google's Android partners, Drummond also stressed the strong legal position Motorola's patent portfolio offers Google to defend the Android operating system from lawsuits.

"I think that we've seen some very aggressive licensing demands in the Android ecosystem," Drummond said. "And we think that having the patent portfolio will make sure that Android is open and vibrant, and the kind of platform that lots of companies can remain on."
post #2 of 64
That is a lot of money for a "free" OS that is "open."
Hard-Core.
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Hard-Core.
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post #3 of 64
I'm sure this is just a user error on my part but I can't find 17k patents currently assigned to Motorola Mobility, Inc - in fact the patent assignment database currently only lists 29.

Any patent experts care to comment?

http://assignments.uspto.gov/assignm...OBILITY,%20INC.
post #4 of 64
I'd like to know what patents motorola has relating to smartphones, especially patents that relate to LTE or 4G?

On the plus side, the Droid series phones can be called Android phones now and it will actually mean something.
post #5 of 64
does apple use any of these?? or is SJ pushing google to spend like a drunk sailor
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post #6 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by NOFEER View Post

does apple use any of these?? or is SJ pushing google to spend like a drunk sailor

Maybe both. Google certainly seems to have been motivated to spend enormous amounts of money. Have to wait and see if it is worth it for them in the end.

So Apple goads them into overspending and Jha is right there to goad them into spending even more...

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post #7 of 64
I'm not seeing how this changes anything ...

Motorola Mobility owned patents that Apple/RIM/Nokia/MS would either have to license or litigate against. Now Google bought MM - it's not like Google invented something and patented it, these are existing patents. If MM/Google is seeking licensing arrangements, they would have to offer the same licensing structure to all manufacturers. If they are seeking litigation, the same litigation would affect all manufacturers. They can't selectively enforce patents or licensing against Apple, while giving HTC a free ride.

Apple tends to invent things related to products they build and patent them, which is a whole different thing from buying existing patents that probably already have licensing in place.
post #8 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by jwdav View Post

I'm not seeing how this changes anything ...

Motorola Mobility owned patents that Apple/RIM/Nokia/MS would either have to license or litigate against. Now Google bought MM - it's not like Google invented something and patented it, these are existing patents. If MM/Google is seeking licensing arrangements, they would have to offer the same licensing structure to all manufacturers. If they are seeking litigation, the same litigation would affect all manufacturers. They can't selectively enforce patents or licensing against Apple, while giving HTC a free ride.

Apple tends to invent things related to products they build and patent them, which is a whole different thing from buying existing patents that probably already have licensing in place.

They can be selective.

And now, it will be google with a patent trove to use to defend all of Android instead of moto defending moto.

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post #9 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by jwdav View Post

Apple tends to invent things related to products they build and patent them, which is a whole different thing from buying existing patents that probably already have licensing in place.

That's a really terrible argument to make after Apple just bought the Nortel patents. The fact is that it doesn't matter how you came to be assigned a patent, what matters is whether the patent is encumbered by licenses or FRAND requirements, whether it is valid and whether it is actually infringed.
post #10 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post

That's a really terrible argument to make after Apple just bought the Nortel patents. The fact is that it doesn't matter how you came to be assigned a patent, what matters is whether the patent is encumbered by licenses or FRAND requirements, whether it is valid and whether it is actually infringed.

The difference is that Apple bought the Nortel patents for future products.

Google buys patents to protect shipping products.
post #11 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by jwdav View Post

I'm not seeing how this changes anything ...

Motorola Mobility owned patents that Apple/RIM/Nokia/MS would either have to license or litigate against. Now Google bought MM - it's not like Google invented something and patented it, these are existing patents. If MM/Google is seeking licensing arrangements, they would have to offer the same licensing structure to all manufacturers. If they are seeking litigation, the same litigation would affect all manufacturers. They can't selectively enforce patents or licensing against Apple, while giving HTC a free ride.

Apple tends to invent things related to products they build and patent them, which is a whole different thing from buying existing patents that probably already have licensing in place.

Actually yes I think they could - include in the license of the Android operating system a royalty free version of the tech covered by the patent - but for anyone else to separate out that tech and use it in a device not running Android OS then you must pay.
post #12 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by aplnub View Post

That is a lot of money for a "free" OS that is "open."

Exactly.

I wonder if Google has some self criticism.
Instead of buying Android and clone iPhone, wouldn't it have been cheaper to invent an own system? Palm WebOS is a great example.
post #13 of 64
This seems weird. Unless I missed something, Apple has not sued Google or MM. Apple has sued HTC and Samsung. I don't see how this purchase helps either HTC or Samsung in their lawsuits with Apple. I also don't see how this helps Google itself, since the company going after Google is Oracle, and Oracle doesn't need to license patents related to cell phones.

The only benefit I see here to Android is that this will prevent Motorola from suing other Android OEMs.
post #14 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post

That's a really terrible argument to make after Apple just bought the Nortel patents. The fact is that it doesn't matter how you came to be assigned a patent, what matters is whether the patent is encumbered by licenses or FRAND requirements, whether it is valid and whether it is actually infringed.

They also bought most of their touch screen patents from FingerWorks.
post #15 of 64
If this is all about protecting Android with the patents, then how come Google doesn't simply try to license the patents from Motorola? Wouldn't that be cheaper than buying the whole company? Then they could also avoid competing with their other partners.
post #16 of 64
"....7,000 patents pending with particular strength in 2G and 3G essential, non-essential patents important to the delivery of competitive products in the marketplace, video particularly compression, decompression and security technologies and finally, a leading position in 4G LTE essential"

From http://fosspatents.blogspot.com/2011...e-to-kill.html
post #17 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blastdoor View Post

This seems weird. Unless I missed something, Apple has not sued Google or MM. Apple has sued HTC and Samsung. I don't see how this purchase helps either HTC or Samsung in their lawsuits with Apple. I also don't see how this helps Google itself, since the company going after Google is Oracle, and Oracle doesn't need to license patents related to cell phones.

The only benefit I see here to Android is that this will prevent Motorola from suing other Android OEMs.

Apple has targetted the handset makers because it's easier to divide and conquer. Google could only watch as it didn't have many patents in this area.

Now it's got nearly 25,000 patents spanning 30 years of cell phone development from the inventor of the cell phone. I've no doubt they're going to go after Apple directly now to nullify the patents Apple is using to sue others, or at least openly wage a cold war where no side will want to mess with the other in patents.
post #18 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asherian View Post

Apple has targetted the handset makers because it's easier to divide and conquer. Google could only watch as it didn't have many patents in this area.

Now it's got nearly 25,000 patents spanning 30 years of cell phone development from the inventor of the cell phone. I've no doubt they're going to go after Apple directly now to nullify the patents Apple is using to sue others, or at least openly wage a cold war where no side will want to mess with the other in patents.

When LTE starts being implemented in earnest then we'll see the real importance of these patents.
Hmmmmmm...
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Hmmmmmm...
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post #19 of 64
Google has always wanted to dominate the world of tech, whereas Apple has always pursued a specific market.

These patent wars are bad for everyone.

They're just going to kill each other, there will be no one dominant entity and the biggest loser will be the consumer.
post #20 of 64
Smart move, Google. This is the best acquisition I've seen Google make. After losing the Nortel patents they needed something to keep Android from being licensed out of relevancy.


Quote:
Originally Posted by aplnub View Post

That is a lot of money for a "free" OS that is "open."

Off topic, but I thought I'd post it anyway because it's funny. So much for being open...
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post #21 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

When LTE starts being implemented in earnest then we'll see the real importance of these patents.

That's a good point. The Nortel patents seems to cover the future of cellular tech a lot more than Moto patents suggests but I'm glad to see Motorola, an American-based company, being given a chance to rebuild itself.
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post #22 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asherian View Post

Apple has targetted the handset makers because it's easier to divide and conquer. Google could only watch as it didn't have many patents in this area.

Now it's got nearly 25,000 patents spanning 30 years of cell phone development from the inventor of the cell phone. I've no doubt they're going to go after Apple directly now to nullify the patents Apple is using to sue others, or at least openly wage a cold war where no side will want to mess with the other in patents.

Let's not forget that Microsoft is a big reason for Google's need for defensive patents. They are they ones coming after Android for licensing fees that exceed that of Win Phone 7.
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post #23 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac.World View Post

I'd like to know what patents motorola has relating to smartphones, especially patents that relate to LTE or 4G?.

Most of Moto's patents are essential and are licensed under FRAND - and will therefore not be very useful as leverage. Apple can easily afford to pay any reasonable license fee. The only ones that will be useful are ones that are not essential or industry standard - and there just aren't that many of those.



If Google is smart, they will sell the Motorola hardware business and keep the IP. Blackberry OS is struggling, so RIM might have a desire to branch out. RIM still has a sizable cash reserve. Google knows that owning the hardware business puts them in a bad light with other licensees. Google gains a massive PR advantage if RIM starts licensing Android. None of the other Android licensees have the business presence that RIM has.

But we all know that Google has no respect for anyone's IP but its own and doesn't give a hoot for its licensees, so they may not do that. Instead, they may give the hardware division an advantage over the competition via stronger hardware/software integration. That would be a bad move in the long run.
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post #24 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

If Google is smart, they will sell the Motorola hardware business and keep the IP. Blackberry OS is struggling, so RIM might have a desire to branch out. RIM still has a sizable cash reserve. Google knows that owning the hardware business puts them in a bad light with other licensees. Google gains a massive PR advantage if RIM starts licensing Android. None of the other Android licensees have the business presence that RIM has.

But we all know that Google has no respect for anyone's IP but its own and doesn't give a hoot for its licensees, so they may not do that. Instead, they may give the hardware division an advantage over the competition via stronger hardware/software integration. That would be a bad move in the long run.

Google's Nexus line sold directly from Google already put them in a bad light by showing distinct favoritism. It came with no extra carrier or vendor crapware on the device. They say they will let the vendors bid but I have a feeling they will be controlling the amount of the bid so that Moto wins when it's most advantageous. That said, we might start to see some nice Android devices from Moto tested with versions of Android long before the other vendors get their hands on them.

As for RiM, moving to and then forking Android doesn't seem like a bad idea. I don't think QNX with Adobe AIR(Flash) for the UI is working out. At least with Android they can get a modern smartphone OS they can alter to meet their needs the way Nokia is presumably altering Windows Phone 7 to suit their needs. It's certainly more likely to get Android apps to run on Android RiM than a virtualization layer under QNX. That said, I don't see RiM doing that. I think they have too much hubris to make the needed changes to save the company at this point.
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post #25 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by shompa View Post

Instead of buying Android and clone iPhone, wouldn't it have been cheaper to invent an own system? Palm WebOS is a great example.

There is no way that WebOS doesn't infringe on someone's patents. A smartphone is too complex not too. The only reason no one is looking is that WebOS has not sold enough phones to be considered a threat.
post #26 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Orlando View Post

There is no way that WebOS doesn't infringe on someone's patents. A smartphone is too complex not too. The only reason no one is looking is that WebOS has not sold enough phones to be considered a threat.

True, but HP does have a huge patent arsenal of its own and existing deep license arrangements with players like MS. They are likely in a less bad situation than Google.
post #27 of 64
If nothing else, this should put to rest any notion that Google was not seriously after the Nortel patents or that they are not committed to Android. Only time will tell whether this move turns out to be the right one or too expensive, but you cannot say Larry Page was timid at the switch when he felt cornered.
post #28 of 64
So does that mean that Droid phones are now going to have 'BETA' permanently stamped on the back?
post #29 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by stelligent View Post

...or that they are not committed to Android.

Or maybe that they are going to do a 'Chrome phone'?
I still think Android has always been a 'holding action' until they can webify (and ad-ify) phones via Chrome.
post #30 of 64
Imagine what the posts would have been like here had Apple bought Motorola Mobility.
I'm a big Apple fan, but I say "Bravo" to Google. It was expensive, but a coup nonetheless.
post #31 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by aplnub View Post

That is a lot of money for a "free" OS that is "open."

Yes it is. And in the Google-Oracle lawsuit, Google tried to argue that Android revenue was zero because they give it away for free and therefore they should not be liable for any penalties. Well if Android generates no revenue for Google, how is Motorola Mobility worth $12.5 billion to them? I think they have just given Oracle's attorneys a big bone.
post #32 of 64
It would be a good time for Apple to buy Qualcomm that is if it would sell.
post #33 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by stargatesg1 View Post

It would be a good time for Apple to buy Qualcomm that is if it would sell.

Qualcomm has a much larger valuation than Motorola Mobility but it's an interesting thought. I wish I would have suspected this purchase earlier so I could have profited on today's uptick of 50+%.
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post #34 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by stargatesg1 View Post

It would be a good time for Apple to buy Qualcomm that is if it would sell.

IMO they've all now gathered together enough IP to make business miserable for each other if they all wanted to make ugly. I don't think further ridiculously expensive patent purchases are going to make business sense to Apple or Google and I don't expect to see too many more of them.

MM as a part of Google may actually settle things down and let everyone concentrate on improvements and features rather than legal firms. . .

. . . hopefully.
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post #35 of 64
First Google gave away the OS for free so they could get it on a plethora of competing platforms; thereby saturating the smart phone game with their stank.LOL!
Now they went and spent big baller money on patents that they will require their OEMs to use or they will have to find another platform(speculating).
Google is going to have to give not take from their OEMs so they won't,IMHO, be caught up in anti competitive practices.IMHO.
At the end of the day I have my iphone 4. Sc** this sh**!
post #36 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

QualcommI wish I would have suspected this purchase earlier so I could have profited on today's uptick of 50+%.

SAME! I was given a tip for this only three weeks ago. Today I'm annoyed with myself.
post #37 of 64
Google's next version of Android code name Ice Cream Sandwich is not open source. Google is trying to compete with apple to create a unique device that will work properly with the hardware and their Android platform
post #38 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

IMO they've all now gathered together enough IP to make business miserable for each other if they all wanted to make ugly. I don't think further ridiculously expensive patent purchases are going to make business sense to Apple or Google and I don't expect to see too many more of them.

MM as a part of Google may actually settle things down and let everyone concentrate on improvements and features rather than legal firms. . .

. . . hopefully.

Nope, not even a little. First off I don't expect Apple and Moto to settle, but even if they do Apple will continue to attack HTC, Samsung and friends for the infringements in their customizations to Android which won't be covered by any license from Google.

Google probably won't mind if Apple does in Sense and T-Wiz, mind you neither would most Android users.
post #39 of 64
If you just compare the patent numbers, Google got a better deal from strictly a numbers point of view.

Google: 12.5B for 25,000 MM patents --> 500,000 per patent
Rockstar Consortium: 4.5B for 6,000 Nortel patents --> 750,000 per patent

Of course, the question is, which patents will be worth fighting over ? It would interesting to see a breakdown by tech like 2G, 3G, and LTE.
post #40 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Most of Moto's patents are essential and are licensed under FRAND - and will therefore not be very useful as leverage. Apple can easily afford to pay any reasonable license fee. The only ones that will be useful are ones that are not essential or industry standard - and there just aren't that many of those.



If Google is smart, they will sell the Motorola hardware business and keep the IP. Blackberry OS is struggling, so RIM might have a desire to branch out. RIM still has a sizable cash reserve. Google knows that owning the hardware business puts them in a bad light with other licensees. Google gains a massive PR advantage if RIM starts licensing Android. None of the other Android licensees have the business presence that RIM has.

But we all know that Google has no respect for anyone's IP but its own and doesn't give a hoot for its licensees, so they may not do that. Instead, they may give the hardware division an advantage over the competition via stronger hardware/software integration. That would be a bad move in the long run.

The problem for Google is that no one wants Moto's hardware business w/o the IP.
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