Googorola Going To Battle The Patents. Google swallows Motorola and reorganizes the fronts in the mobile market. Google acquire 17,000 patents at once – so that they secure their Android platform against attacks by Microsoft and co. The consumer pays the price for the company’s feuds. With the acquisition of Motorola mobility, the software giant Google goes not only for the first time under the mobile phone-Bauer (with all the positive and negative consequences). Google buys also a huge shield for its Android mobile operating system.
This was most recently sharply attacked from the competition. Because mobile is one of the biggest growth markets in the IT industry; the segment of modern all-rounder-phones, so-called smartphones, recorded nearly one hundred percent growth rates in the past few quarters to the part. The battle for control of this area is increasingly managed with a special weapon: with patents. Smartphones touch patents in many areas, from transmission standards on computer chips to the operating system and the operation of the touch-sensitive screen. Some experts estimate that there are around 7000 patents for the telephone function alone.
For Google, this is a disadvantage. As compared to mobile pioneers like Nokia is the search engine a new entrants in the mobile phone market, so has only a few patents in this area. Experts estimate that there are around 2000, only 1030 of which Google recently acquired for a unknown purchase price of the hardware group of IBM.
Huge patent portfolio
Accordingly, Android is so far often target of patent litigation. Overall, Google and cell phone manufacturers that use Android, were sued almost 50 times in the past few years, says Florian Müller, an industry consultant for intellectual property, reporting for years on a blog on patent lawsuits.
Only the software group Oracle requires billions of Google because Android injured allegedly some rights to the Java programming language.
Apple attacks including the Android partner Samsung and HTC.
Companies such as Microsoft collect up to US$15 license fees for each Android device according to David Drummond of Google Chief lawyer now.
With the $12.5 billion expensive purchase of Motorola, Google now better attempts against patent lawsuits to protect. After all, the search Machinists acquire the industry pioneer: a company that brought the first phone on the market with the brick-sized DynaTAC in 1983 and which has some 17,000 patents and has logged 7000 more claims.
With this portfolio, Google would be abruptly on par with the Microsoft Group, which holds 18,000 patents according to their statements. “That will allow us to better protect Android from anti-competitive threats“, Google Chief Larry page writes in his blog. And protection is an urgent need, finally, every day more than half a million Android phones are enabled. With each of them Google a little further expands its supremacy in the lucrative advertising market of the future, the mobile Internet.
What are Motorola patents?
Still, the deal is however not sealed. Antitrust authorities in America and Europe must still approve the acquisition. The procedure could take many months. Already in 2008, with the acquisition of DoubleClick, Google internet marketer has a year waiting approval. Theoretically, another company of Google could still beat at this time.
But even if everything smooth running, the question arises: can the “Googorola“-Deal end the fierce fighting of the patent? Expert Müller is skeptical. Although he sees Google’s negotiating position strengthened, the fighting with companies such as Apple and Oracle but could become rather more by the deal.
After all Motorola’s huge patent portfolio has not deterred also has companies like Apple and Microsoft. It is still not said whether that future changes. The litigation would continue until the full acquisition of Motorola mobility, Google Chief lawyer Drummond said in a conference call on Monday. In the multi-billion dollar dispute with Oracle, Motorola Google should use anyway little. The patents of cell phone-Bauer’s did not, to put about Countersuits pressure on Oracle, says Müller.
Probably, the acquisition will not defuse also involves the struggle with so-called patent trolls. Because these companies while forcing manufacturers with their patents to royalties, build but even not mobile phones and can therefore be intimidated not with Countersuits. After all, Google by the new patents annoying royalties could save.
Rather, the bottom line, “Googorola” should spark the patent battle in the mobile sector. In addition to Apple, Nokia, Microsoft, Oracle, there is now a further player, in turn forcing the competition to new, expensive acquisitions. Until recently about Google losing in a bidding competition to around 6,000 patents from the holdings of the Novell and Nortel Networks to a consortium of companies, including Microsoft, Apple and the BlackBerry maker Research in motion (RIM) belonged. The patents were the competitors around US$4.5 billion worth.
“In a sense the billions patent purchases remember upgrading during the cold war“, says Müller. The customers lose out. Because the money that the IT giant stuck in their defense, missing for innovations. Also, the companies pass on the cost of licenses and processes to the final consumer. Christopher white, Director of financial adviser to Bristol, York, estimates that the licensing costs for patents account for already 15% to 20% of the product price for smartphones.