So today should be fun! The whole world (ok, the small slice of it that follows patents) will be weighing in on Google’s recently announced purchase. Not liking to be left out even though I have a lot of work to do, I feel compelled to add in my 50 cents. In no particular order, save that the list is actually ordered because I like numbers rather than bullets, are my comments:
1. What did I tell you? If Google had wanted the Nortel patents they’d have won the auction. They had the money, and they had this up their sleeve the whole time.
2. Then, Google puts out the whiney-baby, “feel sorry for us” article wherein I likened them to a dude that tried to play my friend (note to playah: knock it off, or she’ll knock it off for you). Well played, Big G. Throw everyone off the “we’re about to buy Motorola” scent.
3. How mad is the consortium that bought Nortel’s patents right about now? Big G ran up the bidding and forced you all to (over)pay a ton of money. That sent reverberations throughout the industry and forever changed the valuation of every company on the planet with a portfolio. InterDigital, anyone? Man, those guys had to be ecstatic! Here’s a hint, Southern style: when they bid pi? You done been had.
4. Quote from the Wired.com article:
“Our acquisition of Motorola will increase competition by strengthening Google’s patent portfolio, which will enable us to better protect Android from anti-competitive threats from Microsoft, Apple and other companies,” Page wrote.
Again, nicely played. So, instead of spending $4.5B on a patent portfolio alone, they are now a hardware manufacturer as well. See how that works? INTELLECTUAL VENTURES, I’m looking at you.
I like consistency and this purchase meets that criteria. While recognizing that patents are required to operate in the smartphone space, broken system or not, Google chose to buy a hardware company. Any patents Motorola has now transfer to Google so they have gotten into the manufacturing business and now hold patents that they can use to defend themselves, all in one foul swoop. They are behaving in a way that is consistent with the message they have been putting out. I like that.
Larry Page, for the win.