Thursday, August 11, 2011

Motorola Patent Portfolio vs The World??!!

I just wrote a piece on the Apple Vs Samsung patent debacle yesterday and mentioned that Apple was now pursuing an injuction against Motorola over the Xoom tablet. Apple is seeking to have sales of the Xoom halted due to patent violations. Apple has come on strong against Android products and it was only a matter of time before Motorola was in the crosshairs. Moto is seem is definitely not defenseless in this matter however.

Motorola has been around since 1928 and has been a major player in the cell phone world since it pioneered the flip phone with StarTAC in the mid 1990's. Over all that time the company has acquired an extensive patent portfolio. Sanjay Jha the chairman and CEO of Motorola's Mobility division hinted to the size of this portfolio during a financial conference on Thursday. Jha hinted to both the amount patents they possess the lack of fear at using them during his talk,
"I would bring up IP as a very important for differentiation (among Android vendors). We have a very large IP portfolio, and I think in the long term, as things settle down, you will see a meaningful difference in positions of many different Android players. Both, in terms of avoidance of royalties, as well as potentially being able to collect royalties. And that will make a big difference to people who have very strong IP positions."

Motorola has shown before that they are not afraid to go after other companies over patent issues and this Patent portfolio they possess may just be their secret weapon. Microsoft has been suing Android phone manufacturers systematically and winning alot of money( ask HTC how much of every Android phone they sell goes to Microsoft!). Moto is not only not giving in to Microsoft but fighting back and the sheer amount of patents it has in its arsenal may just be the tipping point here. However if you sit back and really read the quote above it seems to allude to Motorola being ready willing and able to take a look at fellow Android manufacturers too. Maybe the best defense is a good offense? It could be that Jha wants everyone out there eying a patent war with Motorola to know that it could very well end up paying Moto themselves(much like Apple is now paying Nokia after losing in court earlier this year). Here's to hoping some preventive medicine is enough to prevent an Android vs Android patent war.

Picture- Sam Spratt/Gizmodo

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