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Motorola CEO hints at patent offensive on Android rivals

updated 04:00 pm EDT, Thu August 11, 2011

Motorola may trigger inter-Android patent war

Motoorla chief Sanjay Jha during the same Oppenheimer conference where he opened the possibility to Windows Phone also hinted at the company possibly turning on other Android phone makers in patent disputes. Restating earlier observations that Motorola has a large patent collection, he suggested that Motorola could not just use this to fend off attacks but to launch some of its own. It could create a "meaningful difference" relative to other Android companies in its ability to skim royalties, Jha said.

Intellectual property would be crucial to "differentiation" among Android designers, he added.

A chance exists that Motorola would level its patents against non-Android companies, although most of the non-Android phone and OS designers are already involved in mutual patent disputes. Fellow Android makers haven't engaged in patent fights with each other, in part because of the common OS roots but also out of an understanding that it might be against their mutual self interest.

Motorola has been slipping behind among Android designers as HTC and Samsung take over. It may be keen to slow its fellow Android supporters down by increasing their royalty rates.

Google hasn't commented but may well object to inter-Android patent disputes as dragging down the entire platform.

By Electronista Staff


  1. Peter Bonte

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2001



    Now Android makers fighting amongst themselves, seems logical that they would first adopt the Windows phone OS. The money flow from these licenses must be tempting for any company with mobile patents, it can potentially kill the Android platform.

  1. bigmig

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2004



    It was only a matter of time before this happened. An Android OEM's closest competitors are the other Android OEMs - they're all shipping the same product with little or no differentiation. Presumably Google will frown upon this, but at this point Moto has little to lose.

  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2004


    Oh stop confusing yourself

    Motorola launched its first patent offensive against Apple last year. They are going to launch more offensives against other companies.

    It's not Android vs. Android, its everybody vs. everybody.

    Of course Apple isn't going to sue another iOS company - there isn't any such thing.

    This is the patent world - nobody wins.

  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2004


    Adopting WinPhone 7 solves nothing

    Guys - Motorola is suing other companies who aren't paying them royalties on patents they own.

    Adopting Windows Phone 7 doesn't protect you from a patent lawsuit, anymore than Apple running iOS protected them.

    If the patent office grants you a patent, you can sue people - assuming you have any kind of way of tying their business to what your patent was granted on.

    MS might indemnify you over Windows Phone 7 - software wise (at the cost of you paying them royalties). but - don't forget a lot of cellphone patents are about hardware - antenna tech,'ll still get sued even with WinPhone7 installed.

  1. facebook_David

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Aug 2011


    Subtitle semantically incorrect

    Unless I misunderstand the meaning of the article, the subtitle should say: "Motorola may trigger INTRA-Android patent war," since the possible "patent war" would be between Motorola and *other* Android phone makers. IOW, the "war" is *within* the Android ecosystem, not *between* Motorola and some *other* phone ecosystem.

    It's the difference between "interstate" (between states) and "intrastate" (*within* a single state).

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