Google is in the process of acquiring Motorola and its 17,000 patents. Everyone from analysts to tech pundits are wondering if the search company will adopt the handset maker’s aggressive patent litigation strategy.
Legal experts criticize Motorola for violating the terms of FRAND, which requires patent holders to license standards-based patents to other companies under fair and reasonable terms. Motorola reportedly uses FRAND patents to sue rivals and asks for unreasonable royalty fees which seek compensation based on the selling price of a product, not the core technology it is licensing.
In a letter sent to the IEEE standards organization, Google confirmed it would follow Motorola’s lead in asking for a 2.25 percent royalty fee on the final selling price of a product. FOSS Patents likens this to MotoGoog wanting 2.25 percent of the selling price of an iPhone because it uses UMTS. Google also said it reserves the right to seek an injunction against a company that does not agree to these terms.
Google’s stance goes against the idea of FRAND licensing, says Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents. It also exacerbates the growing problem of FRAND abuse. Microsoft, Apple and Cisco have taken a stand against this abuse and support the principles of FRAND patent licensing.
Google wasn’t always this way, points out MG Siegler. When Google and its hardware partners were the target of several patent infringement lawsuits last year, Google legal counsel David Drummond spoke out vehemently against companies that litigate instead of innovate. Now that Google may soon have a heap of patents in its coffers, it’s apparently becoming one of these lawsuit-hungry companies it recently condemned.
[Via Fortune Apple 2.0]