Wireless nightmares: Motorola acquisition fails to protect Google's Android partners from patent litigation

(Editor's Note: The below is simply a possible outcome--one of many. It is intended as a lighthearted look at a possible executive nightmare. Meaning, this is not real.)

Google's Andy Rubin:
The Motorola acquisition fails to protect Google's Android partners from patent litigation and they start fleeing the operating system

  Andy Rubin

One of the main reasons Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) paid $12.5 billion for Motorola Mobility (NYSE:MMI) is its portfolio of 17,000 wireless patents. A number of companies, including Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), have sued Android licensees for patent infringement, and Google hopes the patents will help give Android some protection. Microsoft has been very aggressive in getting Android licensees, including big ones like HTC and Samsung, to sign patent-licensing deals covering Android, indicating Microsoft thinks in has the upper hand on the issue. Moreover, Microsoft sued Motorola for infringement before the deal, so Motorola's patents might not be ironclad protection for Android. Andy Rubin, Google's senior vice president of mobile, recently said he hoped for a "patent peace where people aren't suing each other for competitive advantage." If Motorola's patents prove not be effective bulwarks against litigation, Android could become more vulnerable and licensees might bolt the platform rather than pay the cost of patent royalties. That possibility must be one of the things keeping Rubin up at night.    

      

Wireless nightmares: Motorola acquisition fails to protect Google's Android partners from patent litigation
Read more on