Motorola Patents a Google Ally vs Apple
The breakout success of Google's Android operating system has sparked an intense arms race in technology patents particularly related to mobile.
"We believe this is the singular most important issue for the smartphone industry at the moment," JPMorgan analyst Rod Hall wrote in a research note Monday.
Unsure of who has claims to intellectual property rights, industry giants are girding for battle by acquiring patent portfolios. Meanwhile, those with patents -- like Motorola -- are being urged by investors like Carl Icahn to carve out the assets for sale. And Motorola, happy to boast about the size of its patent portfolio, replied with the message that its patents are core to a successful strategy.
Asked about patents on an earnings conference call Thursday, Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha said it was an area of strength for the company. "As I look at these patent portfolios, I feel very good that we will be able to go forward and find ways to create and enhance shareholder value for all of our shareholders."
Google has complained that the current patent system is broken and does not encourage innovation. But that doesn't mean Google isn't interested in acquiring more. The company said it's adding a collection of 1,000 patents from IBM(IBM) that it acquired in a deal struck last month.
The battle lines in the patent war were drawn earlier in July, in the surprise aftermath of the Nortel patent auction.