Google’s Acquisition of Motorola Is All About the Patents; IP Lawyers in Big Demand
Posted Aug 16, 2011 7:43 AM CST
By Debra Cassens Weiss
Google executives confirmed Monday that the focus was on patents when the company agreed to buy Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc.
Google hopes to use the patents acquired in the $12.5 billion deal to protect itself in litigation over its Android software for smartphones, according to the Chicago Tribune and Bloomberg News. Three companies that use the software, including Motorola Mobility, are targeted in lawsuits by Apple claiming patent infringement.
The Tribune notes a blog post by Google’s chief executive Larry Page. "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," he wrote.
Smartphone patent litigation is good news for the lawyers with the expertise to wage the battles, Bloomberg says. Google is looking to hire a vice president of patents and a manager of patent acquisitions. Last year, Apple created a new position to head IP litigation, and Intel plans to fill about half of its 18 open legal positions with IP experts.
Technology companies and law firms are both vying for top patent lawyers. Bloomberg quotes Steve John, managing director at lawyer search firm Major, Lindsey & Africa. “The world of intellectual property, and more specifically patent transactions, is really heating up,” he says.
Law Technology News: “Google Bolsters Android in $12.5B Motorola Mobility Acquisition”
Am Law Daily: “Cleary, Wachtell Lead on Google's $12.5 Billion Motorola Buy”