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Motorola To Collect Royalties For Android 176

Posted by timothy
from the everybody-wants-a-piece dept.
tlhIngan writes "It looks like Motorola wants to join in on the Android patent licensing fun enjoyed by Microsoft and others. (Yes, the same Motorola that makes Android phones.) Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha has stated they plan to collect licensing royalties from other Android manufacturers. Given Motorola's involvement in the mobile industry, they certainly do have the portfolio to go with it. It's interesting times ahead for Android."
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Motorola To Collect Royalties For Android

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  • by Rockoon (1252108) on Saturday August 13, 2011 @08:31AM (#37078402)
    Motorola is one of the oldest (if not the oldest) player in the mobile market. Expect the other big players that dont already have cross-licensing deals with Motorola to be begging for such a deal.

    Android has a strong future, but its no longer "free beer!" .. at least in the phone space.
  • Lets use more appropriate words for the definitions.
  • by erroneus (253617) on Saturday August 13, 2011 @08:59AM (#37078498) Homepage

    All of what I think is based on huge amounts of speculation. But I don't yet see Motorola as an evil company.

    The Motorola patents aren't likely to be software patents and I have to wonder if any of them will be. Motorola and mobile phones go way back after all. I think if Motorola strikes deals with other android mobile phone makers which is reasonable and affordable, then it's just fine. It could also prove to be highly defensive of the Android community once they strike deals early on with Android phone namers, they will naturally expand to other phone makers.

    (This is where my speculations turn to hopes)

    Once Motorola turn to other mobile phone makers, I hope the deals with makers such as Apple include deals which prohibit their actions against Android makers.

    As others have pointed out, Apple does NOT want to mess with Motorola. Motorola has been patenting mobile technologies for a LOT longer than Apple has which gives Motorola the upper hand in these kinds of situations.

    • I don't yet see Motorola as an evil company.

      Is 'erroneous' a vanity name and I'm missing the joke? There is nothing Motorola that says "power to the people." Their tablets are locked down, their phones are ticking time bombs, their cable set-top boxes are crippled; all in the name of "for your protection."

      I still have hope you are kidding, and I'm the butt of this joke...

      • by erroneus (253617)

        Actually, I don't own anything motorola unless it is the occasional chip within something else. I once owned a Motorola Startac phone long, long ago... but that's about it. I'm not a Moto-fan, I just don't see them as evil -- could be my lack of experience with them.

        • Actually, I don't own anything motorola unless it is the occasional chip within something else. I once owned a Motorola Startac phone long, long ago... but that's about it. I'm not a Moto-fan, I just don't see them as evil -- could be my lack of experience with them.

          Evil and incompetent are two entirely different things, but let me assure you that Motorola handily manages to be both.

      • by rtb61 (674572)

        Which is what this is all really about. The ability to force the whole market to locked down devices via patents, all applications and all content locked down and device specific with licence fees to the software or product manufacturers.

        Nothing to do with Android, apart from Android offering an open system no locked down and people not forced to pay licence fees.

        Certain companies are attempting to force computers from a more open competitive landscape to a closed, and broken up license fee for all con

    • by nten (709128) on Saturday August 13, 2011 @09:31AM (#37078636)

      If Motorola is targeting Android manufacturers that implies that it is something about Android that is infringing Motorola's patents. Since Android only consists of software, the patents it is infringing by definition must be software patents.

      • by erroneus (253617)

        Android is software. But to make use of Android, especially on a mobile phone, some hardware requirements must be met.

        • by grcumb (781340)

          Android is software. But to make use of Android, especially on a mobile phone, some hardware requirements must be met.

          Fine, but what is there that is common to all Android devices that distinguishes them from, say, IOS devices%3

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 13, 2011 @09:11AM (#37078534)

    By no definition of what constitutes a mobile phone, did Motorola invent the mobile phone as is claimed by the article. They haven't even provided much refinements of pre-existing technology. They introduced the mobile phone to the US market, that's pretty much it. Next somebody claims that Bill Gates invented computers or operating systems.

    The early history of mobile phone technology is shrouded in clouds. The Swedish military had mobile/portable phones in the 1930's, but they were likely not alone.

    The development and introduction of a mobile phones for non-military use was almost exclusively done by Scandinavian actors. Beginning with the Swedish phones for use in cars and (more important) the technology for city wide mobile phone networks in the late 1940's, and culminating in the NMT system in 1981, that unified the different Scandinavian national network technologies into one, most of it already old and proven technology (the most important inovation of the NMT system, was the idea to dial the phone number and then connect to the phone net, not connect to the phone net and then dial the phone number, as had been done since the first automatic phone systems (also Scandinavian inventions, by the way, the first phones was invented and made by Italians, not Graham Bell (he copied the mechanism of his phone from an article in a paper) or any other US-American, just to set things straight)).

    All mobile phone technology that have been invented after that, is just small refinements.

    • by westlake (615356)

      by the way, the first phones was invented and made by Italians, not Graham Bell (he copied the mechanism of his phone from an article in a paper)

      Bell demonstrated his phone at the Centennial Expo in Philadelphia in 1876. The first Bell telephone exhange opened in New Haven, Connecticut in January 1878.

      In 1871 Meucci filed a caveat at the US Patent Office. His caveat describes his invention, but does not mention a diaphragm, electromagnet, conversion of sound into electrical waves, conversion of electrical waves into sound, or other essential features of an electromagnetic telephone.

      Meucci's 1871 caveat did not mention any of the telephone features later credited to him by his lawyer, and which were published in [a] Scientific American Supplement [in 1885] , a major reason for the loss of the 'Bell v. Globe and Meucci' patent infringement court case.

      Invention of the telephone [wikipedia.org]

      In 1885 there were 50 telephones per 1,000 population in Atlanta, 30 in Honolulu, 22 in Buffalo.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by scratchdiver (1578277)
      Motorola invented the cellular "refinement" which enabled mobile telephony to be used by the general public. Prior to this, mobile phone capacity was less than 100 channels for a large metropolitan area, so they couldn't be used widely. On the old "car phone" system, which was actually just a conventional two way full duplex radio, prices for airtime and equipment were huge, and the transmit power was much larger than today's standard by a factor of 20 or more, and the prior systems had no automated coordin
  • by andydread (758754) on Saturday August 13, 2011 @09:23AM (#37078588)
    Motorola 'may' collect royalties on phones that violate their hardware patents including Android phones. Its not the same thing as collecting royalties for Android or any particular feature of the operating system itself. It still sucks in my opinion but lets get real here this is not about software patents which remain the bulk of the problem with companies like Microsoft, Eolas, Lodsys and Apple. Software is already protected by copyright it should not be stifled with patents. And people on here parroting the notion coined my Microsoft Public Relations such as "Developers should indemnify users" are pathetic trolls. When you claim that developers should 'indemnify' users you are claiming that in order to write software or be a developer you have to have billions of dollars and a massive legal department in order to write code and distribute it. That is a farce notion pioneered and spread throughout the press by Microsoft PR against open source after the SCO fiasco which they funded.
    • The problem isn't "software" vs "hardware," you probably say that because you write software, and don't think much about hardware patents.

      The problem is it's incredibly easy to get a patent for something stupid. This patent of course makes that obvious [google.com], and it happens with hardware just like with software.

      This isn't the end of Android though; what will most likely happen is the same that happened with GSM, where tons of different companies/groups have relevant patents. It became a bit more expensive to
  • by CowTipperGore (1081903) on Saturday August 13, 2011 @09:27AM (#37078610)

    This one of several blogs I've seen make this claim the past two days, and I'm honestly still at a loss to explain their assumption. There is nothing in Jha's quote to indicate they are going after other Android makers. The blog linked from the summary says during its Q2 earnings conference call Motorola hinted that it is ready to join Android patent racket, and start demanding licensing fees for its IP from other Android manufacturers.

    He based that claim on these comments:

    With new entrants in the mobile space, resulting from the convergence of mobility, media, computing and the internet, our patent portfolio is increasingly important...Probably a little less well known is our strength in patent portfolio in non-essential patents, which are capabilities that are important to have in delivering competitive products in the marketplace...As we go forward, I think that the introduction of number of players with large revenues, which have come into the marketplace as a result of the convergence of the mobility, computing, internet and other segments, I think that that creates an opportunity for us to monetize and maximize the shareholder value in a number of different ways and we evaluate all of them all the time.

    From that, the blogger now knows that Motorola plans to collect $60 per handset from HTC and Samsung. Or so he says. Now, he's made a new post, using a new quote from Jha to cement his position. He claims that this week Motorola’s CEO Sanjay Jha reiterated this message, and made it even more clear – they do indeed have plans to start collecting IP royalties from other Android makers. What did Jha say that so clearly showed Motorola's plans to sue their Android brethren?

    I would bring up IP as a very important for differentiation (among Android vendors). We have a very large IP portfolio, and I think in the long term, as things settle down, you will see a meaningful difference in positions of many different Android players. Both, in terms of avoidance of royalties, as well as potentially being able to collect royalties. And that will make a big difference to people who have very strong IP positions.

    That seems more likely (to me) to say that Motorola is not HTC and will not be paying Microsoft blackmail money. In fact, they may be able to extract their own pound of flesh from Microsoft and Apple. What in that passage gives any hint that Motorola will be pursuing other Android manufacturers? I'm at a loss.

  • What if Motorola charge Google $0.02 per android to cover licence infringement.
    Google then charge Motorola $0.02 for every mobile with android sold
    on paper Both are getting large royalties from each other but in reality it zero's out.

    (*note* figures are examples only and not representative of any financial calculations, but you get the idea.)

    • p.s.
      The above also works if multiple companies charge each other for for infringing patents.
      You get lots of $$££€€'s moving around but it all zero's out in the balances...

      • by cyfer2000 (548592)
        But you create GDP and jobs like lawyers, attornies, law counsels, law school professors, judges...
  • Unlike most "can't compete, litigate", assertions made here, this one is pretty true. Motorola can't make a phone that doesn't fall to pieces after six months, so they're obviously trying to make money off everyone's successes. At the start of 2010, they were without a hope in the world, and were looking at leaving the cellphone market entirely, or going under; their massive hit Android phones, the Dext/Cliq, Backflip, Droid/Milestone, basically let them claw their way back up from the depths. I didn't s

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