Motorola might only be worthy to Google for 18 patents

Summary:Google's proposed $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility would entitle the Android OS maker to thousands of patents. But only 18 of them might be worth anything.

In other Google and Motorola news, it's time to go back to talking patents. Google announced its intended acquisition of Motorola Mobility last week.

For $12.5 billion, Google would be getting the rights to approximately 17,000 patents as well as another 7,500 pending applications. That's quite the step up considering Google only has roughly 1,000 to start with at the moment.

However, out of all of those patents, only 18 would be of any actual value to the Goog, according to Bloomberg:

The inventions date back to 1994 and form the heart of three Motorola lawsuits against Apple Inc. (AAPL), making them among the stars of the portfolio, said David Mixon, a patent lawyer at Bradley Arant Boult Cummings in Huntsville, Alabama. They cover technology essential to the mobile-device industry, including location services, antenna designs, e-mail transmission, touch- screen motions, software-application management and third- generation wireless.

Of course, 18 might be all that Google needs to back off from being so defensive and solidify its fight against that "hostile, organized campaign" that Google asserted its competitors were waging against Android.

Dean Becker, CEO of Palm Beach, Florida-based ICAP Patent Brokerage also told Bloomberg that Google only needs a few to bolster its legal position against such rivals.

This might not be the only occasion in which tech giants are fighting over patent portfolios filled by the thousands for only a handful to protect themselves. Just look at Kodak, InterDigital and Nortel. This is really the perfect time for these flailing companies and more out there to sell off their patents for more than they are probably worth before this bubble bursts.


Topics: Mobility


Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider,, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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