Google Make Their Move in Patent Wars

Google Acquire Motorola

Jessica Thornsby

What does this mean for competing hardware manufacturers?

Google have announced they will acquire Motorola.

Larry Page, CEO of Google has posted about the acquisition
at the official Google blog. He praises Motorola’s past support for
Android, pinpointing this as one of the reasons why the two
companies are so well-suited. He also refers to Motorola as the
market leader in the home devices and video solutions business and
states that:

“Motorola has a history of over 80 years of innovation in
communications technology and products, and in the development of
intellectual property, which have helped drive the remarkable
revolution in mobile computing we are all enjoying today.”

Moving forward, Page assures the community that Android will
continue to be open, and they will run Motorola as a separate
business – Motorola will remain a licensee of Android. When it
comes to Motorola’s competitors, Page states that “many hardware
partners have contributed to Android’s success and we look forward
to continuing to work with all of them to deliver outstanding user

Senior Vice President of Mobile at Google, Andy Rubin, has also
spoken out on what the acquisition will mean for other hardware
, reiterating that Motorola will remain a separate
business, and that there is no guarantee Motorola will release the
next Nexus:

“The acquisition is going to be run as a separate business. They
will be part of that bidding process (for Nexus,) and part of that
lead development process. And obviously Android remains open to
other partners to use as they are today.”

Page also sheds some light on Google’s motivation for acquiring
Motorola, referring specifically to the current trend of large
software companies banding together to purchase patent portfolios.
Oracle, Apple and EMC, recently moved to acquire Novell’s patents;
while the “Rockstar” group, including Apple, Microsoft, RIM and
Sony, acquired Nortel’s patent portfolio for $4.5 billion. David
Drummond, Chief Legal Officer at Google branded this
“a hostile, organized campaign against Android by Microsoft,
Oracle, Apple and other companies, waged through bogus
and the Department of Justice are currently
investigating whether Microsoft and Apple acquired the Nortel
patents as part of an anti-competitive strategy. However,
Microsoft officials hit back at these allegations via Twitter
with Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith tweeting :”Google says we
bought Novell patents to keep them from Google. Really? We asked
them to bid jointly with us. They said no.”

Hot on the heels of this tweet, lead of corporate communications
at Microsoft, Frank Shaw posted an image of an email, which seems
to show Google lawyer Kent Walker and Brad Smith discussing the
deal. In the alleged email, Kent Walker says:

“After talking with people here, it sounds as though for various
reasons a joint bid wouldn’t be advisable for us on this one.”

However, according to the Google CEO, this acquisition is a very
necessary move in the patent war:

“Our acquisition of Motorola will increase competition by
strengthening Google’s patent portfolio, which will enable us to
better protect Android from anti-competitive threats from
Microsoft, Apple and other companies.”

Google will acquire Motorola for $12.5 billion. The transaction
is subject to customary closing conditions, and is expected to
close by the end of 2011 or early 2012.

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