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

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
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."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 63
    aplnubaplnub Posts: 2,605member
    That is a lot of money for a "free" OS that is "open."
  • Reply 2 of 63
    cloudgazercloudgazer Posts: 2,161member
    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.
  • Reply 3 of 63
    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.
  • Reply 4 of 63
    nofeernofeer Posts: 2,427member
    does apple use any of these?? or is SJ pushing google to spend like a drunk sailor
  • Reply 5 of 63
    tulkastulkas Posts: 3,757member
    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...
  • Reply 6 of 63
    jwdavjwdav Posts: 36member
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 63
    tulkastulkas Posts: 3,757member
    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.
  • Reply 8 of 63
    cloudgazercloudgazer Posts: 2,161member
    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.
  • Reply 9 of 63
    shompashompa Posts: 343member
    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.
  • Reply 10 of 63
    lilgto64lilgto64 Posts: 1,147member
    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.
  • Reply 11 of 63
    shompashompa Posts: 343member
    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.
  • Reply 12 of 63
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 3,367member
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 63
    gwlaw99gwlaw99 Posts: 134member
    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.
  • Reply 14 of 63
    stsjstsj Posts: 3member
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 63
    nairbnairb Posts: 253member
    "....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
  • Reply 16 of 63
    asherianasherian Posts: 144member
    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.
  • Reply 17 of 63
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 63
    sipsip Posts: 210member
    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.
  • Reply 19 of 63
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    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...
  • Reply 20 of 63
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    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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