Google just sold Motorola Mobility to Lenova for $2.91 billion. If it seems like only months ago that Google just bought Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion, it’s because it’s somewhat accurate since that just happened in 2012. Seems dumb, right? Google barely got their foot in the door, only releasing a handful of phones with the Droid logo and finally rejuvenating the crumbling Moto brand, and now they’re selling out… and yet again a foreign company.
Not so fast, though.
On the surface, the HUGE loss in value for nearly $10 billion would have any other company scrambling. But not a patent-whore like Google. Motorola has been making phones and mobile devices since the early ’90s and owned countless patents over time. With this buy, Lenovo is taking only roughly 2000 of those patents, as well as the Moto trademark and brand. So how many does that leave Google?
As known patent-junkies, Google’s no different than other huge media company that racks in millions from the patent biz. Amazon, Newegg, and Sony are in on it too. they’re referred to as patent trolls. They buy up patents and, if another company uses it without permission or try to copy it, they can sue for shares in the product or outright ownership of the idea. Microsoft pays Sony about $3 per XBox One because they are using the patent for BluRay, and that figure doesn’t include the actual cost of the BluRay tech built into the Xbox One.
Basically, Google seems to have bought Moto to make their own phone line, the Nexus, better in the long run and gather up some of the patent cash they can score along the way. This race is really starting to get ridiculous, and even has gotten Congress to set a mandate to limit the amount a lawsuits a company can have open at one time. We’ll keep you guys post as it progresses.