Monday, August 15, 2011

Retweet: FOSS Patents adds more logs to the Google fire

I have absolutely no idea what the headline above means, but I liked it the minute I wrote it – very dada – so maybe it will grab some people's attention.

Actually this "retweet" is about a series of posts on the FOSS Patents blog, written by Florian Mueller, concerning Google's Motorola Mobility acquisition and patents surrounding Android. If you'are not a regular reader of his blog you should be.

The first post is about an Android licensing issue. Mueller discusses the consequences of all this – its complicated, but ultimately may be very important if we see more legal action taken to prevent products from being distributed.

Mueller's next two posts about Google reflect on today's Motorola Mobility deal. You should read them in order to get a feeling about what Mueller was thinking about the deal. The first talks a lot about patents and strategy and what the market thinks about the deal. The second hits upong the $2.5 billion break-up fee, which Mueller says "reflects sellers' concern and buyer's desperation".

"I listened to the executives on today's conference call on the deal and they exuded confidence," Mueller writes. "But if they were really so sure that regulatory approval is a slam dunk, there wouldn't be a break-up fee that is completely out of the ordinary. Money speaks louder than words in a case like this."

You get the idea: Motorola wants something if this deal falls apart, Google is desperate for the deal and is willing to sooth Motorola's mind with the break-up fee.

I look forward to Mueller's follow-up posts on all this. For me, one of the reasons Apple is sitting on all that cash is that it knows it may have to make future moves before all this settles out. It has disputes with so many players (as do all the other players here) that it must be satisfying to know that if necessary it can make a move similar to Google's – not that it looks right now like it will need to do so.