Google Inc. made a $12.5 billion deal to buy Motorola’s mobile phone division, a move that could reshape the Internet giant’s future in the mobile world while also giving it an arsenal of patents for a real legal war with Apple.
The purchase of Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc., by far the largest in Google’s history, moves the Internet company into the arena of making smartphones, tablet computers and cable set-top boxes. It will nearly double Google’s work force and test the company’s young alliance with other cellphone makers.
This week, Google’s Motorola division had yet another setback in its ongoing intellectual property dispute with Microsoft, when a judge dismissed some of the patent claims it had deposed against the software company.
“Our acquisition of Motorola will increase competition by strengthening Google’s patent portfolio, which will enable us to better protect Android from anti-competitive threats from Microsoft, Apple and other companies.” – Google CEO Larry Page
Last Thursday a U.S. District Judge James Robart issued an order invalidating more than a dozen claims in three patents Google filed against Microsoft. All three patents are in the field of technology related to the encoding and decoding of digital video, and while Robart acclaimed some of their claims to be legitimate, he found that 13 were not specific enough to be brought in this case.
And so he granted Microsoft’s motion for partial summary judgment, putting those 13 claims a side. Robart’s decision significantly narrows the case, and advantages well Microsoft, which claims that Google has failed to make the patents at issue available on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory terms.