The world is still all a-flutter over the Google/Motorola deal. Reuters wrote a piece the other day (yesterday, which was also the start of the new school year for my kids so time has been tight as I get them geared up), and I’d like to throw my hat into the discussion ring on it. Let’s start with a quote:
Google’s move was widely seen as a response to its loss in the auction of 6,000 Nortel patents to a group led by Microsoft Corp, Apple Inc and Research in Motion, which fetched an unprecedented $4.5 billion in July.
At the risk of beating the poor horse completely into the ground, I still don’t think Google wanted those patents. THEY WOULD HAVE THEM IF THEY DID. Money was not an option. No, I think that Google wanted to run up the price on the patents to jump-start the “Patent Arms Race”, and watch while everyone else bought into it but them. I think they had plans to buy Motorola all along, and that they have plans to build an actual product. Further, I think that product will be the tablet that beats the iPad.
I’ll pause while that sinks in.
Part of me thinks that because of another article I read about who can beat Apple at the tablet game. They didn’t mention Google, so I’m doing it for them. (I’m nice that way.) If anyone can beat Apple at anything, it’s Google. I said it and I’m glad.
Back to the original article, I don’t think the race is likely to be over so quickly, and certainly not because of Google’s purchase, be it for patents or product development. (Yes, I do like commas, why do you ask?) I still think the Nortel Patent price was artificially inflated by Google, but I don’t think the prices will come back down automatically. The war is not only not over, it’s just begun, IMHO*.
Because of the Patent Troll problem and because of the flaws in the patent system, you have to build your stable of patents and everyone who can, will. Maybe things will go back to normal? Time, and the InterDigital sale and Eastman Kodak auction. But either way, I think Google snookered everyone. They got a decent base of patents, that they can call upon for defensive purposes if needed, for a fraction of the Nortel prices. And, they have hardware capability now too. Giddyup.
*In My Humble Opinion