Thursday, August 11, 2011

Mobile: Motorola To Collect Royalty From Fellow Android Device Makers

What a rude awakening this is turning out to be for Google.  Just as they thought the weekend is coming, Motorola let it be known that it'll want to leverage its vast patents and start collecting money off the likes of HTC, Samsung, and LG.  Heck, anyone who uses Android in one form or another will be asked to pay up.  

A couple of things.  Motorola Mobility is well within its rights to do this to ask competing Android device makers for patent royalty fees if they use Motorola's patents without paying for it.  

Second, what will Google think about this?  Only a week ago, Google's chief lawyer charged its competitors of using patents to impede Android.  Is Motorola now a part of the patent problem?  This really doesn't change anything for Google but it's public assault on its competitors 

Consider further in future patent moves, Motorola's patents may be in play for bidding just like Nortel as well.  By announcing that it will be going after Android makers, it is signaling to Google that "hey, you're the only one making money here. I want some of that $40 billion you've got sitting in the bank".

Or Motorola could use its patents as leverage to help Google or makes things very difficult for the search giant.  Also, Motorola has signed its interests in Windows Phone as well.  If this is more than just "keeping options open", Motorola could care less if other Android makers suffer.

It's time for Google to do something.  If there are future patents to be bid on (like InterDigital) and Apple bids $10 billion, then Google has to bid $11 billion.  Whatever it takes to win this thing.  Right now, I would not blame its partners if they don't feel that Google is doing anything to protect Android.  

As for Motorola's attempt to collect from other Android makers, it'll be very interesting to see how this turns out.  And yes, Google needs to get involved in this as well.  

Source:  Unwired View.

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