MOBILE PHONE OUTFIT Motorola Mobility has received $228m in patent licensing deals.
Motorola Mobility, which is in the process of being bought by Google, confirmed in its accounts that in June 2010 the firm signed a licensing deal with an unnamed company for which Motorola would receive $175m and future royalties. Those future royalties stacked up to an impressive $228m in just the nine months leading up to 2 October 2010.
Google's attempt to buy Motorola's handset division was generally regarded as a move to acquire the firm's considerable patent portfolio. Motorola's handset division is widely credited with being one of the major contributors to the development of mobile phones and while the firm's smartphones might not be as fashionable as devices from Apple, HTC or Samsung, it clearly has patents that can bring home the bacon.
Although Motorola did not disclose the name of the other party in its licensing deal, there is a better than average chance that it is Research in Motion. The two firms came to a "long-term, intellectual property cross-licensing arrangement involving the parties receiving cross-licenses of various patent rights" in June 2010.
If Motorola can eek out that much cash from just one vendor in such a short period of time, Google's decision to go after the firm's patents sounds like a good strategy. Even if Google doesn't use Motorola's patent portfolio to generate cash, its patents strength should be able to save it and its handset partners some cash. µ
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