Motorola signals intent to begin patent action against other Android licensees

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
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 "I?ve 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.



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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 88
    Say YES to Patent Reform!
  • Reply 2 of 88
    Last Man Standing...
  • Reply 3 of 88
    roboduderobodude Posts: 273member
    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.
  • Reply 4 of 88
    cloudgazercloudgazer Posts: 2,161member
    Oh my - some android fans heads are going to explode at this.
  • Reply 5 of 88
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 29,770member
    Quote:
    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.
  • Reply 6 of 88
    wovelwovel Posts: 956member
    Quote:
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 88
    Quote:
    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.
  • Reply 8 of 88
    robin huberrobin huber Posts: 3,193member
    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.
  • Reply 9 of 88
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,061member
    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
  • Reply 10 of 88
    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...
  • Reply 11 of 88
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    This is funny.
  • Reply 12 of 88
    sockrolidsockrolid Posts: 2,788member
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 88
    aaarrrggghaaarrrgggh Posts: 1,561member
    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.
  • Reply 14 of 88
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,138member
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 88
    chris_cachris_ca Posts: 2,543member
    Only 14 sentences in that entire article.

    Kinda run out of breath reading it...
  • Reply 16 of 88
    bryanlbryanl Posts: 67member
    No source? Just conjecture?
  • Reply 17 of 88
    gprovidagprovida Posts: 244member
    I wonder if this pushed them in this direction.
  • Reply 18 of 88
    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...
  • Reply 19 of 88
    sennensennen Posts: 1,463member
    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"?
  • Reply 20 of 88
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    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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