U.S. Expected To Approve Google-Motorola Deal
Author: John Duckgeischel on February 8, 2012 - 11:20 PM
As soon as next week, it is
widely anticipated by industry experts that the U.S. Justice Department will
approve Google’s $12.5 billion buy of Motorola. The acquisition of Motorola brings with it a
treasure trove of smartphone technology patents. Anti-trust officials in both Europe and the
U.S. will be closely watching fair licensing practices by Google for Motorola-based
patents as they are licensed to the competition. The European Commission is set to give its
ruling on the acquisition on Monday. Government
officials have observed a high number of patent related lawsuits by high
profile companies including Apple, HTC, Motorola and Samsung especially
pertaining to Wi-Fi and 3G communication technology.
Many technology companies have
agreed to patent licensing guidelines known as FRAND, which is an acronym for air,
reasonable and nondiscriminatory terms.
Microsoft is the most recent example of a technology company expressing
its willingness to license its FRAND patents in an equitable manner. Apple has promised to take a reasonable approach
to licensing its patents as well. Cisco
has backed Apple’s position for open licensing, stating that “the
telecommunications industry would benefit from a more consistent and
transparent application of FRAND."
Both industry observers as well as government officials will be watching
to see if Google and other technology giants will follow through with their
many promises to abide by fair patent licensing.
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