Google: The Power of Patents

With Google, search engine giant, buying out Motorola for $12.5 billion, others should be worried about the consequences this might bring about within the mobile phone market. Having its own devices powered by next to nothing to licence operating system Android, Google has had a great impact on the market and now have the potential to overshadow its competitors.


Motorola’s patent portfolio means a lot to Google. Probably that’s one of the main reasons behind the acquisition of Motorola. With the on-going cases concerning Apple and HTC, Google has seen the importance of patents in relation to defending its Android innovations within the market. Google has also been actively involved in acquiring patents; recently from IBM. Google’s Motorola purchase saw a net of 17,000 patents with a 7,500 still waiting approval. Apple has been in legal disputes with Motorola and although Google hasn’t had a one-to-one with Apple yet in the legal field, that day doesn’t seem far away now.


It is obvious that Google has spent $12.5 billion mainly for the large patent portfolio. What was behind the strategic move of Google? In recent times it seems the battle for market share has inclined into patent acquisition to get in front of competitors. Fighting for patents has become a core competency for most organisations. Yet some use the power of patents to monopolise others. Recent case involved Android’s success being run-down by Microsoft, Oracle, Apple and other companies using patents.



“Patents were meant to encourage innovation, but lately they are being used as a weapon to stop it”

David Drummond

So what does this acquisition forecast for the future of Google? Motorola is in a strong position to help defend Google and its mobile operating system as it has a huge stock of patents which are a lot more than most of its competitors. Having more patents, even more than Apple, Motorola has indicated strength of its patent resources and this is one of the main reasons why Google has made this investment. Taking over Motorola also gives Google a platform to compete in the hardware division of mobile devices. Producing their own brand of handsets and tablets will give them the foundation to compete with others in that specific market. This gives Apple and Microsoft something to think about.


The battle of patents is going to have a massive twist and turn into how organisations deal with the matter. Google has well and truly given itself a boost with this acquisition with Motorola. Google also now has access to mobile handsets thanks to Motorola. What Google develops next, who knows? But one thing is clear; this step by Google will bring about very interesting developments and curious reactions by others especially in particular the likes of Microsoft and Apple.


Comments are closed.