Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 15th Aug 2011 12:04 UTC
Google Okay once again I'm breaking my own one-week time-off from OSNews due to, you know, taking a break and being too busy with other things, but this one is big - very big. Also, only the second time in OSNews history we've used the 'breaking'-tag. Google has just announced it is going to buy Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion (more here). While providing Google with a dedicated mobile phone business, it also gives Google ownership of one of the most valuable mobile technology patent portfolios in existence. Update: Responses from the Android ecosystem are positive. HTC: "We welcome the news of today's acquisition, which demonstrates that Google is deeply committed to defending Android, its partners, and the entire ecosystem." Sony Ericsson & LG: "We welcome Google's commitment to defending Android and its partners."
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RE[3]: Comment by shmerl
by elsewhere on Tue 16th Aug 2011 01:17 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by shmerl"
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"This means that after Google buys MMI, because of the way that these community patent pools operate, all of MMI's relevant patents will become licensed to all other members of those pools. Google won't be able to sue any of them.

That is not my understanding. I wish you were right, but my understanding is:

1. The WebM pool is only relevant for patents that are applicable to WebM - MMI certainly may have some patents that fall into that category, but the vast majority are certainly not related to WebM at all.

2. The OIN does not prohibit members from suing each other - that is just not true at all. It prohibits members from filing suit over Linux. Now what exactly that means when boiled down to legalize I'm not entirely sure, but it certainly does not preclude members from suing each other if it is NOT related to Linux.

More importantly, it does not require members to donate any of their patents to the pool - they certainly can if they want to, but they are merely required to license the members of the pool to any patent that is applicable to Linux (which in reality simply means members cannot sue each other over Linux). As such the majority of MMIs patents (which are mostly patents on communication technology) are not relevant.

I believe the fact that Oracle (OIN member) is suing Google (OIN member) over patents related to the JVM (not linux) would seem to support your view, too.

Companies like IBM are OIN members too, and there's absolutely no way they would automatically open up their entire patent pool carte blanche to anyone joining OIN. It's simply a pool of voluntarily contributed licenses that members can use on the condition they don't launch patent suits related to linux and a list of specific linux-related apps.

IIRC, it originated at the height of the MS-linux FUD war. Novell acquired a set of e-comm related patents that everyone was worried could be used to launch a patent war against anyone with an online presence, Microsoft included. Novell founded the OIN, dumped the patents in, and basically said to MS that they were free to use them to cover their potentially-infringing related business, but in doing so would have to agree not to sue the other members over linux-related patents. MS didn't bite, and frankly, although well intentioned, the OIN hasn't really changed the playing field one way or the other.

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