updated 10:00 am EDT, Mon August 15, 2011
Google talks Android defense, Motorola Google TV
Google during the call for its buyout of Motorola hinted that it was confident about its ability to defend Android against patent complaints. The company declined to talk about its exact strategy but said it was now in a "very good position" to protect the entire ecosystem. The $12.5 billion deal gives it access to 17,000 existing and 7,500 in-progress patents, giving it more clout than if it had bought the collective Novell and Nortel patents.
The deal by extension makes the ongoing Apple and Microsoft patent disputes Google's own. It won't necessarily deter either as Google owned a considerably smaller pool of patents before Monday. Google may, however, use Motorola's portfolio as a bargaining chip against further disputes as well as a defense against Oracle and others who might try to target Google directly.
Along with the comments, the two also hinted Motorola might finally leap into supporting the ailing Google TV platform. While Google CEO Larry Page would only say that Motorola was a "market leader" in areas like set-top boxes, Motorola chief Sanjay Jha was "very excited" about the combination and hinted that the convergence of mobile content and TVs would "accelerate" with the merger.
Although not the main focus of the acquisition, Google TV could get a much-needed injection from the deal. Partners are expanding this fall to include Samsung and Vizio, but existing hardware makers are so far struggling. Logitech has had to cut the Revue's price by two thirds and actually got more returns from resellers in the spring than it shipped. Motorola has the advantage of being an existing set-top box maker and could integrate Google TV into cable and satellite providers' tuners and DVRs where customers currently have to either replace the whole TV or buy an add-on in a market dominated by the Apple TV.