EU Dings Google's Motorola Mobility Unit For Patent Abuse

from the still-doesn't-make-any-sense dept

We’re still confused as to why Google has continued to have Motorola Mobility play the role of a patent bully ever since they bought it. Over a year ago, we suggested that Google could make a real statement on patents by stopping its aggressive patent licensing program via Motorola. After all, Google bought Motorola Mobility just a few weeks after the company appeared to be taking a strong stance against patent bullying. Ever since, it has seemed rather hypocritical for Motorola Mobility to have kept on being a patent bully.

And it seems to be backfiring all over the place. It was the one real area that Google got in trouble over with the FTC’s antitrust investigation. And, the patent legal fight with Microsoft hasn’t gone well for Motorola Mobility either. And, now, the latest bit of news is that the EU is coming down on Motorola Mobility for seeking an injunction over standard-essential patents as well.

Honestly, this whole thing has left me really confused. The patent aggression hasn’t worked out at all for Google, is leaving them wide open to fines and complaints from various powerful government bodies, isn’t doing much in the courts and (most importantly) is leaving the company itself wide open to charges of hypocrisy. Why not just do the right thing — the same thing that Google itself has done in the past, and which it has spoken out about on numerous occasions: stop being a patent bully. It makes no sense that they company has continued down this path.

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Companies: google, motorola mobility

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Comments on “EU Dings Google's Motorola Mobility Unit For Patent Abuse”

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Gleason McAllister says:


It’s about time that Google started to ramp up a hard-ball strategy against any and all other tech firms. Google has the cash and the goods, and as it snaps up other providers to grow its patent portfolio, it can readily capture the majority of its market – leading to more profits and higher stock prices! Then they can sell more shares at a higher price – which means more cash for the Goog!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Google has NEVER officially used the “don’t be evil” slogan or ever considered it a form of policy.

It was not intended as a slogan and was not used for it either.

As for getting patents to fight other patents bullshit, I can understand why people like Mick the nick to want you to believe by having some patents in your cupboard you can fight patent litigation against you.

If Masnick knew anything at all about litigation, laws or patents he would know it simply does not work that way.

I am not holding my breath waiting for Masnick to inform himself, he simply does not want to know, or wants to make you think he has a clue about what’s going on.

He does not.

Anyone who relies on Masnick to think for them is in real trouble, and must be desperate.

out_of_the_blue says:

"Honestly, this whole thing has left me really confused. "

Add that to Mike’s boilerplate text. It’s just amazing that he goes along admitting to being dazed and confused and can’t see the general truth that corporations are liars from the word “go” — as in Google!

“Don’t be evil” was just a lie to get the evil going.

Take a loopy tour of! You always end up same place!
Some of Mike’s typical boilerplate text: “Honestly, this whole thing has left me really confused.”

Designerfx (profile) says:

the whole situation is questionable

Motorola asked apple to take a license. apple turned around and sued and requested an EU investigation, while suing in like 5 different places. this is the result. Many of those have been shut down.

How is that exactly motorola going after folks?

I don’t know if they were even seeking licenses as much as that if they don’t request that someone licenses what they’re using they have no redress. Kinda more a patent law issue and less a patents themselves issue.

The fallout from this to SEP patents is also a big deal, so unless we finally stop allowing software patents this will basically stop royalty pools, licensing pools. Why contribute to an actual de-facto standard with your research if you can’t even be compensated, I believe was the argument I heard frequently.

DCX2 says:

Re: the whole situation is questionable

Exactly this.

Motorola isn’t “going after” people. Motorola tried to negotiate with Apple and MS, and instead of negotiating like every other vendor, Apple and MS ran to the court system to cry foul.

All this trouble for Motorola is a very bad thing. Technology companies that contribute to standards are sitting up and taking notice that contributing to a standard will allow your competitors to take your R&D efforts without compensating you at all. Consumers will be harmed if companies do not contribute to standards.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Alright…so I’ve been gone from Techdirt for a bit (rough semester), but can someone explain the “Mick the Nick” moniker to me? I get that it’s referring to Mike, but is that it? Just that his name is Mike, so that’s like Mick, and the end of his last name is Masnick, so shorten that?

Wouldn’t it be “Mick the ‘nick” then, no capitalization? For the life of me I thought we were talking about an Irish guy named Nick. Is Mike Irish? Are we going back to the great old derogatory term Mick? I mean, I’m cool with that, just looking for a bit of an explanation.

Suzanne Lainson (profile) says:

Free culture versus wealth culture

While making everything free and accessible underlies the goal of P2P, shareable, commons, and other similar cultures, Silicon Valley and the lifestyle that has gone along with it is very much one of great wealth.

Therefore it isn’t all that surprising to see corporations there and those who run them adopt some of the same values as the wealthy from previous generations.

Once a company goes public and is accountable to Wall Street, I don’t think you’re likely to see it become a revolutionary force.

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