Google, according to a report out of Reuters, has agreed to settle all of its patent litigation with the Rockstar consortium, which consists of a variety of tech companies including Apple, Sony, BlackBerry and Microsoft. The Rockstar consortium paid $4.5 billion for Nortel Network Corporation’s huge patent portfolio in 2011, outbidding Google at the time. The Rockstar consortium originally sued Google and a handful of Android manufacturers in October of 2013, claiming that the companies infringed on seven Nortel patents.
Nortel Stories November 20, 2014
Nortel Stories December 26, 2013
Google is making moves this week to protect its Android partners as the Apple, Microsoft-backed “Rockstar” patent group seeks to sue numerous Android partners. Google has asked a San Jose court for a declaratory judgement to rule that Google and thereby the Android ecosystem does not violate seven of Rockstar’s patents.
Nortel Stories October 31, 2013
Google, Samsung, and several other Android handset manufacturers are being sued by Rockstar, a consortium backed by Android competitors Microsoft and Apple, over alleged infringement of several search patents acquired by Rockstar from Nortel in 2011. Last year HTC reached a ten-year agreement with Apple as part of a patent infringement settlement. That deal would result in both companies licensing existing and future patents from one another, but it seems that agreement does not apply in this case.
Nortel Stories September 13, 2011
According to an SEC filing made by Motorola today (seen after the break), Motorola was able to get $3 billion more out of Google before they were acquired for $12 billion — even without any other bidders present. But it isn’t that simple.
Today’s report contradicts August’s, saying Andy Rubin actually assisted in the acquisition when he reached out to Motorola first. It was previously stated that Rubin has no knowledge of the acquisition until the buyout was close to being announced. Rubin and company reached out to Motorola to buy patents, after losing the Nortel deal according to the filing.
The story continues as follows: Motorola’s Sanjay Jha told Google that Motorola wouldn’t only sell patents, rather the whole Motorola Mobility sector. Motorola than rejected two of Google’s offers which were $30 and $37 a share respectively, until both companies finally settled on a final price of $40 per share. Google, it appears, was in a hurry to get the deal done and bid pretty close to Motorola was after in order to avoid going to a long, drawn out auction process.
SEC filing after the break:
Nortel Stories August 17, 2011
The smoke has cleared on Google’s $12.5B purchase of Chicago-based Motorola and now that almost everyone has had a chance to speak, I think we’re starting to understand what went down.
Google purchased Motorola (MMI) for $12.5B, a 63% premium over its weekend closing price. Motorola, however, has around $3B in cash and securities, which makes the real purchase a slightly more reasonable $9.5B for Google. For instance, if Google wanted to slice and dice Motorola, they’d take the cash and patents and sell off the cable box and device divisions for a couple billion dollars each and come away with about what they would have paid for Nortel – and get double to triple the patents. On sheer numbers of patents alone, it seems like a good buy. Obviously some patents are worth more than others.
If the deal doesn’t go through, Google owes Motorola $2.5B for the trouble, so Google is dead serious about this play.
But back to what Motorola does: They have IP, they make smartphones, they make tablets and they make cable top boxes. It seems like almost too good a setup for Andy Rubin’s Android to just want to sell off piecemeal.
But did Google want to pick up a hardware company? I reported earlier this year that the Android Hardware division that Andy Rubin had started up with former Danger Co-founders had intentions to build physical devices, not just Operating Systems.
That scale is what attracted and the former Danger founders to get the band back together, with their goal being to build the hardware and features they want to see show up in new Android devices. It’s not enough for Google to just provide Android software to carrier — now they hope to influence what handset makers build, too.
Nortel Stories August 15, 2011
Newsweek Technology Editor Dan Lyons makes some great points this morning regarding Google acquiring Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion. First he talks about TechCrunch MG Siegler’s remarks that Google made themselves “look like huge asses in retrospect”. Lyons pretty much says Siegler’s opinions were just foolish. Lyons also makes an interesting point that Google most likely didn’t actually want the Nortel patents, they were just driving up the price for Apple and Microsoft with their PI (3.14 billion) bid.
And today it all makes sense. Google just sandbagged its rivals. The whole thing was a rope-a-dope maneuver. Google never cared about the Nortel patents. It just wanted to drive up the price so that AppleSoft (those happy new bedmates) would overpay. Today, with the Motorola deal, Google picks up nearly three times as many patents as AppleSoft got from Novell and Nortel. More important, Google just raised the stakes in a huge way for anyone who wants to stay in the smartphone market.
In the end of things, Google is earning 3 times the patents than they would have in the Nortel deal, but for three times the price. One last word from Lyons: