The big news of the day is that Google is going to buy the mobile arm of Motorola – Motorola Mobility. Motorola split in two earlier this year into Motorola Mobility and Motorola Solutions. They’re buying them for $40 per share – a total of $12.5 billion and will be getting all of their mobile patents in the deal too.
Google has previously spoken out against its rivals who it believes are conspiring to bring Android down one patent suit at a time. This acquisition is one way for Google to strengthen its own hand in this game of patent poker.
It doesn’t look like we are going to see Motorola’s current crop of devices with Google on the label, as they say in their press release that they plan to run Motorola as a separate business.
This acquisition will not change our commitment to run Android as an open platform. Motorola will remain a licensee of Android and Android will remain open. We will run Motorola as a separate business. Many hardware partners have contributed to Android’s success and we look forward to continuing to work with all of them to deliver outstanding user experiences.
You can read more about the announcement on Google’s blog post here.
Don’t think that this is going to be the end of Android’s patent troubles though, as Motorola itself has already been hit with lawsuits from Apple over multi-touch plus 24 others, and with Microsoft over more patents, although on that occasion they did respond in kind. Even so, their patent portfolio is not to be sniffed at.