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EU and US Approve Google-Motorola Deal

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  • by kilodelta (843627) on Monday February 13, 2012 @09:18PM (#39027555) Homepage
    And with Motorola Mobility it seems Google gets a nice little patent war chest. I can't wait until they sue Apple out of existence to be honest.
    • by Taco Cowboy (5327) on Monday February 13, 2012 @09:37PM (#39027697) Journal

      With Google standing behind Motorola and Microsoft standing behind Nokia, Apple will be facing tough challenges, both in marketplace and in courtrooms around the world

      • by Daniel Phillips (238627) on Tuesday February 14, 2012 @03:06AM (#39029775)

        With Google standing behind Motorola and Microsoft standing behind Nokia...

        Interesting analogy. Please allow me to extend it a little, if you will. "Google standing behind Motorola, owning it, and Microsoft standing behind Nokia with a garrot around its skinny corporate neck..."

        • by mjwx (966435)

          With Google standing behind Motorola and Microsoft standing behind Nokia...

          Interesting analogy. Please allow me to extend it a little, if you will. "Google standing behind Motorola, owning it, and Microsoft standing behind Nokia with a garrot around its skinny corporate neck..."

          Google is helping Motorola out of the water, Microsoft is holding Nokia under the water.

    • by symbolset (646467) * on Monday February 13, 2012 @09:41PM (#39027731) Journal
      They won't be suing Apple, nor Microsoft out of existence. But at least they've finally brought their gun to the OK Corral. They can probably achieve a Mexican standoff.
      • They won't be suing Apple, nor Microsoft out of existence.

        Motorola will be doing most of the suing I bet (at least for the patent portfolio it's already holding). Since Apple and Microsoft are using intermediaries to do some of their suing, I would expect Google to do a little bit of the same as well. Using proxies would compartmentalize some of the risks of losing some lawsuits (I would assume).

        • Motorola will be doing most of the suing I bet...

          I bet not. Would you care to put a dollar figure to the size of your bet?

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Fluffeh (1273756)

        This will be very interesting. I see three different players in this standoff:

        Apple:

        Decent hardware - not totally high end, but certainly enough for what they allow on them.

        User-friendly operating system - Most of the "masses" think it is wonderful and easy to use.

        Microsoft:

        Aging Hardware - I think that while they had great phones ten or fifteen years ago, they haven't been keeping up with the curve save a few notable exceptions. (I could be wrong, feel free to correct me. Wasn't the N900 the last good thin

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Aging Hardware - Again, I can't really think of the last fantastic Motorola that everyone wanted to rush out and buy.

          Seriously? The Droid Razr is one of the hottest phones out right now.

          • The Droid 4 has the best hardware of any phone right now, I'm not a big fan of the software but I'm considering buying one and changing the OS (running some kind of GNU/Linux on it, or rooted Android if I have no other choice).

        • Google gets the Motorola name and distribution agreements with the carriers and 3rd party retailers. The hardware has been a commodity for some time now. Well, not for Apple but everyone else. Let HTC and Samsung make the phone, put a Motorola label on it, load an Android thats one generation ahead of everyone else, and profit! Oh, also Google finally has the clout to force carriers to take phones packaged more or less crapware-free the way Google has always wanted to sell them (G1 and G2 anyone?).
    • by devleopard (317515) on Monday February 13, 2012 @10:13PM (#39027999) Homepage

      You're an idiot if you think this was a acquisition meant to destroy Apple. It's quite the opposite: it's a defensive acquisition. It's a bunch of Cold War maneuvering: you fire, I fire. Any lawsuit big enough to destroy Apple (doing my best to type that without laughing) would surely come at the hands of Apple firing everything they have. Hopefully this will just keep everyone's lawyers at bay, and everyone can focus on making cool stuff.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 14, 2012 @12:31AM (#39028899)

      And with Motorola Mobility it seems Google gets a nice little patent war chest. I can't wait until they sue Apple out of existence to be honest.

      I think this move by google is an excellent one from a business perspective because they did indeed buy Moto Mobility for the patents and this will now allow them to have real leverage and ownership of key patents that are used on mobile telephony.

      It will also ensure that android continues to be actively developed.

      People need to start treating these companies a bit more fairly, a lot is a stake and the more competition there is, the more innovation there is and the better (i.e. lower) prices we pay as consumers.

      IMHO if apple had their way, everyone would have an iphone, ipad, imac, itunes account, icloud storage and apple undies to go with it. That would lead to them winding back on innovation and leave us with no other choices....a very boring world to live in. They would also charge way more for their over prices products then they do as is in that scenario.

      Lets also be honest here and admit that apple does not play real fair at the manufacturing/patent levels with other companies, competitors and also how they handle production by way of out sourcing it. IN fact they royally screw us over on pricing here in Australia so I am all for anything that forces them to give us the end user a fairer deal and better value for our hard earned dollars.

      Now before anyone says i am anti this or that, I have an apple macbook pro and I also use MS products extensively in my role at work. After 15yrs in the industry i care more for things being fit for purpose then i do for brand names so save me the flame.

      peace.

    • by tooyoung (853621)
      Begun, the phone wars have.
    • Namely Apple suing Motorola over patent infringements regarding Android. Apple has been careful not to sue Google, so Google took the hint and bought one of the defendants, namely Motorola.

      This is a good thing. It means that Apple can no longer go around intimidating Android vendors regarding patents without confronting the software vendor. The short-term verdict will probably be a mixed loss on both sides, but the long-term victory will be to Google and Android.

  • by Cstryon (793006) <Cstryon&gmail,com> on Monday February 13, 2012 @09:25PM (#39027601)

    Correct me I'm wrong, as I'm not in the know, but wouldn't this be a plus for rom development on motorola droid phones?

    • by c0lo (1497653) on Monday February 13, 2012 @10:11PM (#39027983)
      Seriously, guys, anyone that can provide some links that shows "strong opposition from open source"?
    • by stephanruby (542433) on Monday February 13, 2012 @10:23PM (#39028071)

      Correct me I'm wrong, as I'm not in the know, but wouldn't this be a plus for rom development on motorola droid phones?

      It could.

      With HTC officially unlocking its bootloaders and Samsung officially hiring the Cyanogen guy (and then encouraging him to continue doing his custom rom development on the side -- with a healthy salary and no strings attached), custom Android rom development is looking very promising all around.

  • Thank heavens (Score:5, Insightful)

    by drhodesmumby (2520918) on Monday February 13, 2012 @09:26PM (#39027609)

    Hopefully this will give Apple and Microsoft reason to pause for thought on its lawsuits against the Android ecosystem.

    I'm getting tired of reading about a new assault every week; 17,000 patents should even things out enough to force the big players to negotiate and co-operate (assuming of course that Apple won't try to continue the Jobs dream of killing competition entirely...).

    Also, I'll love seeing any hardware to come out of this.

    • by oodaloop (1229816)
      I'm skeptical Apple will stop its lawsuits. Samsung has plenty of patents, and yet they go back and forth. I'm with on the hardware part. I'd love to see Google/Moto fight it out with Apple with some kickass tablets and phones running Jelly Bean or Krispy Kreme, or whatever those letters end up being.
      • Re:Thank heavens (Score:4, Informative)

        by stephanruby (542433) on Monday February 13, 2012 @10:01PM (#39027901)

        ...some kickass tablets and phones running Jelly Bean or Krispy Kreme, or whatever those letters end up being.

        Krispy Kreme is trademarked. Jelly bean seems not to be.

        A little known fact, the reason Android is now using generic pastry names is because they were originally using well-known android names, but they were afraid they'd get sued by the IP owners of those Android characters.

      • I'm skeptical Apple will stop its lawsuits.

        I have every expectation that Apple will stop its lawsuits because I am familiar with the capabilities of the Google legal team. And no I don't mean its outside contracters :-)

    • by lucm (889690)

      17,000 patents should even things out enough to force the big players to negotiate and co-operate

      It is a well-known fact that an arms race is a proven method to increase cooperation between the big players. The unfortunate side effect is that once one of the big players crumble, their weapons end up sold to terrorists and megalomaniac dotcom tycoons.

      • by NemoinSpace (1118137) on Monday February 13, 2012 @10:39PM (#39028179) Homepage Journal

        17,000 patents should even things out enough to force the big players to negotiate and co-operate

        The advent of IPv6 allows the requisite number of phone home patent chips to allow auto-negotiation of any lawsuits that may come about from now on.
        But to limit the number of complaints about patents on Slashdot, I suggest we set an arbitrary limit on the number of patents allowed to exist at any one time.
        I think 640K ought to be enough for everybody.

    • 17,000 patents should even things out enough to force the big players to negotiate and co-operate

      Yeah, the only thing keeping smaller players in the game as it is right now is that the large manufacturers aren't cooperating. Should this cooperation you speak of happen, you can bet it'll be cooperating to decide who gets to monopolize what. Basically, like the RIAA and MPAA do now: One business per industry please.

  • by pecosdave (536896) * on Monday February 13, 2012 @09:42PM (#39027745) Homepage Journal

    They're by no means perfect, but when compared to other companies their size Google does proportionately less evil.

    I'm hoping their search engine finds the "nuclear" patent holed up somewhere in Motorola's recently acquired portfolio that allows them to put an end to the other companies sue everyone else wars between Apple, Samsung and every other manufacturer out there. The "one patent to trump them all" wielded by Google that could put everyone else in a hurt locker unless they calm down and agree to play nice would be a dream and allow honest development and competition to resume.

    I'm dreaming I know. I would like wielding of patents as a weapon to go away, but hopefully a big one in the rights hands could fix some issues.

  • by elashish14 (1302231) <profcalc4@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Monday February 13, 2012 @09:58PM (#39027873)

    http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2012/02/regulators-to-google-you-can-buy-motorola-but-we-still-dont-trust-you.ars [arstechnica.com]

    FTA:

    But regulators on both sides of the pond went out of their way to warn Google not to abuse the patents, with the Justice Department comparing Google's patent statements unfavorably with what Justice views as more responsible statements made by Apple and Microsoft.

    The fuck are they smoking? Am I missing something gigantic staring at me in the face? How is Google's record of 'patent statements' remotely close to being worse than those of Apple and Microsoft? Does the US DOJ actually look favorably down on Apple continuous patent 'I'll sue you out of business' hissy-fits? When has Google ever abused a patent? Has Google ever even attacked another company with patents?

    In any case, what I'd love to see is for Google to create a pool with these patents (haven't they done this already?) where anyone who enters the pool consents to agree not to sue others in the same pool. It wouldn't do much to stop patent trolls though, unless they find a way to kick out members who support them. Am I dreaming? Or should a legitimately don't-be-evil company do this?

    • by ganjadude (952775)
      all that means is that apple and microsoft have paid ... i mean lobbied to ensure that google doesnt take their billions and push it against the will of the people.... negating the billions that they have
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Motoroogle made some pretty bizarre statements about their FRAND patents last week, to the EU and IEEE. And they're demanding 2.25% of the retail price from Microsoft (for H.264) and Apple (for cell shit). If all the FRAND players charged at that rate, patent licenses would exceed 100% of the retail price.

      Yeah, H.264. Google is pushing WebM because they're afraid of H.264 patent trolls. To date, Motorola is the only H.264 patent troll.

      Plus attempting to cancel Apple's license (via Qualcomm's chips)

      • by makomk (752139) on Tuesday February 14, 2012 @06:17AM (#39030659) Journal

        The main result of how the EU - and now apparently the US - are interpreting FRAND and standards seems to be that companies who've spent a fortune on actual R&D to make mobile networks and smartphones actually possible will find that they aren't actually allowed to sell phones using the technology they developed because someone else has got a huge thicket of patents on daft things like detecting phone numbers in messages and offering to call them. Worse still, they'll have to offer up the technology they developed to the company driving them out of business at a knock-down price.

        There's a reason why mobile phone companies have insisted on comprehensive cross-licensing deals in the past. What the EU is doing is effectively favoring crap patents over ones based on actual, fundamental R&D that everyone benefits from. Do you think there'll be any companies willing to help develop the next-generation 4G and 5G standards after this, if they won't actually be able to make any money from it?

    • With the US economy going from manufacturing to consuming and litigating its in the best interest of the US law to set precedents so that US companies can win cases easily.

    • by sincewhen (640526)

      I think they are concerned about this [blogspot.com.au].

      Contrast with the statements Apple [blogspot.com.au] and Microsoft [blogspot.com.au] have made.

      They don't even have to "neuter" their patents - they only have to agree to licence any essential patents on reasonable terms.

  • FUD? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by binarstu (720435) on Monday February 13, 2012 @10:00PM (#39027887)

    According to the linked articles in the post, consumer advocates (or, more accurately, at least one consumer advocate that is associated with Microsoft [techrights.org]) are opposed to this move because it gives Google "unprecedented dominance" in the mobile market.

    None of the linked articles give any evidence of "strong opposition from open source... advocates". Can anyone explain or give examples of this supposed "strong opposition"? As is, this appears to be a mostly invented controversy.

  • by kmahan (80459) on Monday February 13, 2012 @10:20PM (#39028045)

    Now maybe there is a chance I can get ICS on my Moto droid 3. Admittedly the Droid 3 only had a lifespan of 6 months. But it would be nice if Moto actually supported it.

  • I think it will be interesting to see what hardware/software combos come out of this. Hopefully Google can make well supported Android phones without all the crap that current ones have, and make them be upgrade friendly for official updates instead of having to guess which handsets will be popular enough to get an upgrade.
  • Perhaps Google will persuade Motorola to unlock the bootloaders of their phones, to give a bit of assurance that the kevlar-encrusted, gorilla-glassed, nano-coated hardware will have up-to-date software on it for the duration of a 2-year contract? That would be great. And I might buy one...
    • Perhaps Google will persuade Motorola to unlock the bootloaders of their phones...

      Assuming Google owns Motorola, pursuasion becomes unnecessary.

  • I don't have any illusions that this will lead to more freedom for users or anything, or even that it will lead to more choice in the marketplace, but I'm pretty damned sure that it's going to result in more products that I want to buy because they're not taking a gigantic shit on me any time I try to use them the way I want to use them.

  • I like both Apple and Google, use lots of both.

    But when I got my latest phone, I decided against Android simply because the handset makers and the carriers pissed all over Vanilla Android to "improve" it.

    So now I get Google building a standard. Unlocked. Updateable. Frequency agile. GSM. Mobile world wide.

    Heck, I even want Google to build their own cellular network or at the least a MVNO.

    This is not a fight between Apple and Google. Its a fight against both of them against the horrid carriers and clue

    • by wasme (35127)

      So now I get Google building a standard. Unlocked. Updateable. Frequency agile. GSM. Mobile world wide.

      Uh, that's more or less what the Google Nexus (Nexus One, Nexus S, and now currently the Galaxy Nexus) phones are. (Although Google is sometimes a little slow at pushing out updates, but they get there eventually.) The Nexus phones all come with stock Android - no extra vendor software or configuration.

      Although I'm not sure about 'Mobile world wide'. Your ability to use your phone somewhere (like, say, another country) will always be dependent on your service provider. But everything else you want is there

    • Let the battle begin!

      Continue, you mean. And Apple's orc army is not doing particularly well.

  • Motorola Mobility has a big chuck of the cable systems TV and HSI / phone.

  • I'm curious as to why Google & Motorola need the permissions of only the US and the EU. What about the rest of the world?
  • by Daniel Phillips (238627) on Tuesday February 14, 2012 @02:45AM (#39029647)

    This spells doom for the IP terrorist policies of Apple and Microsoft, and is a probable "limiting factor" for Microsoft's phone ambitions. And obviously, this is all fine for Linux.

  • There is a cell phone provider that doesn't rape its customers for personal information? At least Google isn't a multimedia company sniffing customer traffic for file sharing.

  • Is it just me, or does "Motorola Mobility" make it sound more like a company that makes disabled scooters and wheelchairs?

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