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: Desperate but wrong move
by lemur2 on Tue 16th Aug 2011 06:54 UTC in reply to "Desperate but wrong move"
lemur2
Member since:
2007-02-17

Contrary to popular believe, MMI patents are not as powerful as people thought. Most of MMI patents are essential to industry standards, thus government ruled that they must be licensed with FRAND. So basically these patents are weaker than MS or Apple patents, and they can choose not to license their patents! Google want to copy Apple way, i.e. producing integrated hardware-software. But they are using Zune track that was proven as a failure.


In this you assume that Google have an intention to try to sue other parties using these patents.

Your assumption holds no water at all if Google's intention is simply to give everyone a large and safe set of mobile patents to use. This Google could do by putting the MMI patents into a community patent pool, just as Google did with WebM patents. Google could do even better than FRAND, they could license all of the patents completely free of charge (to any member of their CCL patent pool).

Then, when Microsoft or Apple come calling trying to sue any maker of an Android device, that company merely has to say ... "no, our device actually uses the methods licensed via the Google CCL pool patent number xyz. We already have a license for this functionality.".

This would appear to be a very, very clever way to protect any manufacturer wishing to make Android devices from persecution by patent trolls.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Desperate but wrong move
by MollyC on Tue 16th Aug 2011 20:54 in reply to "RE: Desperate but wrong move"
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

LOL
Is that why Motorola itself couldn't use the same argument against litigation filed by Apple and Microsoft? That argument didn't work for Motorola, why would it work for Google-owned Motorola?

And try to understand this: 13.5 billion dollars is two full years of Google profits. There's no way they spend that much money just to protect Android phone makers. If they wanted to protect Android phone makers, they could've just licensed the patents that Android is accused of infringing, for much less than 13 billion. No, Google bought Motorola and wants to make up for that 13 billion. Which means that they will do all they can to advance their own phones at the expense of their so-called "partners". They see the money that Apple makes and they want to follow that model.

Reply Parent Score: 2

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

LOL Is that why Motorola itself couldn't use the same argument against litigation filed by Apple and Microsoft? That argument didn't work for Motorola, why would it work for Google-owned Motorola? And try to understand this: 13.5 billion dollars is two full years of Google profits. There's no way they spend that much money just to protect Android phone makers. If they wanted to protect Android phone makers, they could've just licensed the patents that Android is accused of infringing, for much less than 13 billion. No, Google bought Motorola and wants to make up for that 13 billion. Which means that they will do all they can to advance their own phones at the expense of their so-called "partners". They see the money that Apple makes and they want to follow that model.


I don't think so. I see a buisness model for Google which I think will work much better.

What Google could do is create a community cross-license (CCL) pool for mobile patnets, which would be set up and work in a similar fashion to the WebM CCL pool.

http://blog.webmproject.org/2011/04/introducing-webm-community-cros...
http://www.webm-ccl.org/

The idea would be that if you want to make an Android device, you join the CCL pool, throw in your own relevant patents, agree to refrain from suing any other members of the pool, and enjoy a license to use all of the patents in the pool for zero cost. Non-members still have to pay a fee for a license to any of the patents in the CCL pool.

AFAIK there are currently about 31 companies who make Android devices. If they pool all of their relevant patents, that would make for a very significant patent pool.

http://phandroid.com/manufacturers/

This way Android makers who are members of the CCL pool can get protection against patent trolls, pay no license fees, and yet make legally-licensed Android devices, and do it a lot cheaper than anyone can make iOS devices or WP7 devices.

Fantastic PR win for Google. Android wins. Google wins. Everyone wins (with cheaper devices, which can play WebM video by the way). Win, win, win (except for patent lawyers).

Edited 2011-08-16 23:54 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2