Google Moves to Acquire Motorola's 17,000 Patents

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Google is attempting to acquire Motorola Mobility Holdings and — as part of the package — Motorola's 17,000 patents. Google’s CEO, Larry Page, explained the motivations in a blog post about the deal: "Our acquisition of Motorola will increase competition by strengthening Google's patent portfolio, which will enable us to better protect Android from anti-competitive threats from Microsoft, Apple and other companies."

Patent economist James Bessen says Google isn't buying these patents because they're looking to make a better mousetrap, but because Apple has even more patents. In other words, the smartphone world is an arms race, and Google and Apple are playing the politics of mutually assured destruction.

Guests:

James Bessen

Produced by:

Posey Gruener

Comments [1]

Angel from Miami, FL

Innovation decreases as a company's size increases. The company slows down its invention of new technologies as it attempts to freeze the market inside the standard it has created. Sometimes it does this with the help of a competitor and always with help of government legislation. True innovation comes from small groups. Almost all of these will get bought out by large companies, their tech becoming used in existing products or getting shelved entirely. The remaining "little guys" will become the next big thing.

Innovation usually gets in the way of making money in an old-fashioned way.

Aug. 16 2011 10:04 AM

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