Google’s mammoth $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility and their 17,000+ patents were surprisingly “welcomed” with open arms by other manufacturers who push out Android-powered devices. Samsung, Sony Ericsson, HTC and LG all published a very political and structured sentence that went something like this: “We welcome Google‘s commitment to defending Android and its partners”. There has been limited talk since this happened in August, but Google outwardly stated that one of the main reasons for taking over Motorola would “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.”
In an interview with Bloomberg, Google’s Chairman Eric Schmidt seemed to confirm this news and also reaffirmed their commitment to other Android partners. “The Android ecosystem is the No. 1 priority, and that we won’t do anything with Motorola, or anybody else by the way, that would screw up the dynamics of that industry… We need strong, hard competition among all the Android players. We won’t play favorites in the way people are concerned about, and that we make sure that reward innovation in the right ways.”
Seems like every week there’s another lawsuit that involves a manufacturer being sued for patent infringement. Schmidt says they plan to “bulk up” on patents, grabbing more than just Motorola, but dreams of a day that everyone will find a “rough truce” to encourage innovation. “From our perspective, we will end up having enough patents that we can end up with a rough truce with everybody else, which is how it’s done… That’s been the pattern in all other industries, and I’d expect something similar in ours.”
Research firm IDC recently predicted that the Android OS will capture 39.5% market share by the end of this year, 45.4% by 2015. Surely along the friendly and open path to Google dominating the smartphone OS there will be some corporate drama unfold, most likely it’ll take shape in the current trend of a patent lawsuit.