Law360: Google Aids Android Makers In Patent War

Law360, New York -­-­ By Ryan Davis -­-­ By holding onto 15,000 Motorola Mobility patents after selling the handset unit to Lenovo Group Ltd., Google Inc. has freed itself to come to the defense of other, rival smartphone makers that use the tech giant's Android software, experts say.

When it owned Motorola, Google only used the company's patents to countersue rivals such as Apple Inc. when they sued Motorola. With Wednesday's $2.91 billion sale to Lenovo, Google has much wider latitude to use Motorola's patent portfolio.

Because Google has shed Motorola's hardware business and will no longer be making smartphones itself, it is now free to deploy the patents to aid other Android smartphone makers that compete with Motorola, according to John Martin, CEO of Innography Inc., which makes software that analyzes intellectual property.

"This is another transaction that shows the value of patents as a business asset, both for current products today and new technology we don't know about yet."

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