IBM Joins the war on terror

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    Posted: 14 September 2011 11:50 PM

    Google just bought an additional 1023 (I see what you did there Google) patents from IBM to help defend Android from various agressors.

    It is interesting how IBM is aligning itself.

         
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    Posted: 15 September 2011 12:15 AM #1

    Bosco (Brad Hutchings) - 15 September 2011 02:50 AM

    Google just bought an additional 1023 (I see what you did there Google) patents from IBM to help defend Android from various agressors.

    It is interesting how IBM is aligning itself.

    No terms or conditions for the sale. Hmmmmmmmm…google raised it’s offer for motoMobility by 3 billion bucks on the last day to get the deal done. I wonder how much IBM fleeced, I mean, negotiated from Google for this sale?  :wink:

    Google is getting a rep as an astute negotiator….

    I don’t think IBM aligned with anybody. They made a buck.

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    Posted: 15 September 2011 01:24 AM #2

    There’s a good list of some of the interesting patents at SEO by the Sea.

    I think it was a bit more strategic with IBM. Their business relies on robust availability of open source solutions, spanning operating systems, databases, etc. This was the second such transaction for about 1000 patents from IBM to Google in as many months. At least we’ll get to see whether I was correct with my prediction of how Google would use its patents, that is, effectively lease them out to hardware partners for defense or measured retaliation against the terrorists.

    Also, no less than the WSJ came to the conclusion today that Google bought Motorola Mobility primarily for the patents (duh!) and not for the hardware, meaning that AFB members worries that Google would use Moto to rub out licensees like HTC and Samsung were as silly as they originally seemed.

         
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    Posted: 15 September 2011 01:32 AM #3

    Bosco (Brad Hutchings) - 15 September 2011 04:24 AM

    There’s a good list of some of the interesting patents at SEO by the Sea.

    I think it was a bit more strategic with IBM. Their business relies on robust availability of open source solutions, spanning operating systems, databases, etc. This was the second such transaction for about 1000 patents from IBM to Google in as many months. At least we’ll get to see whether I was correct with my prediction of how Google would use its patents, that is, effectively lease them out to hardware partners for defense or measured retaliation against the terrorists.

    Also, no less than the WSJ came to the conclusion today that Google bought Motorola Mobility primarily for the patents (duh!) and not for the hardware, meaning that AFB members worries that Google would use Moto to rub out licensees like HTC and Samsung were as silly as they originally seemed.

    Time will tell on your last point. You are aware of the indications Google might have considered ‘favoring’ some hardware venders over others. Among the favored was Moto.

    If in six months time we see Samsung, HTC, LG and others beginning to shift production and marketing efforts to Windows Phone 7, or somebody buys or leases WebOs, And Android is less favored, we might draw different conclusions.

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    Posted: 15 September 2011 01:54 AM #4

    Google has “favored” many of the handset makers for specific devices. HTC got the Nexus One. Samsung got the Nexus S. Motorola got the Xoom. It’s how Google exerts influence over the direction of Android and exerts influence to solve some of the perceived problems that pop up.

    It is so funny listening to people call out Google for that now. I know it’s because FOSS Patent guy went all turd in the punchbowl with it, and he is Mac celebrity of the year until Gruber fights back. But still, if you were paying attention to Android, it not only wasn’t a revelation, it wasn’t even a negative.

         
  • Posted: 15 September 2011 02:28 AM #5

    Bosco (Brad Hutchings) - 15 September 2011 04:24 AM

    There’s a good list of some of the interesting patents at SEO by the Sea.

    I think it was a bit more strategic with IBM. Their business relies on robust availability of open source solutions, spanning operating systems, databases, etc. This was the second such transaction for about 1000 patents from IBM to Google in as many months. At least we’ll get to see whether I was correct with my prediction of how Google would use its patents, that is, effectively lease them out to hardware partners for defense or measured retaliation against the terrorists.

    Also, no less than the WSJ came to the conclusion today that Google bought Motorola Mobility primarily for the patents (duh!) and not for the hardware, meaning that AFB members worries that Google would use Moto to rub out licensees like HTC and Samsung were as silly as they originally seemed.

    Brad:

    I’d rather see Google in the Android device market and for economics to determine the staying power of licensees.

    RSE:

    webOS is going nowhere without a patron and if HP has decided it doesn’t work it’s not going to work. Microsoft is only confusing the market and I can’t image a successful Android handset maker adding additional risks by extending resources to embrace Windows 7/8/whatever.

    Please remember phones sold on post-paid contracts are primarily purchased through carriers, not the handset makers. Margins on contracts and churn costs will determine what the carriers offer to customers. Customer retention means lower costs/higher profits. A few competing Android handset makers might deliver decent profits for the carriers.

    The pre-paid market is a different animal all together and Android handsets will do well in that market. But Google needs to create a rich revenue stream for developers, a robust ad market and create consistent revenue for itself. A well-equipped Moto, HTC or Samsung phone will deliver far more to Google than a multitude of Android phones on pre-paid contracts.

         
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    Posted: 15 September 2011 02:52 AM #6

    DawnTreader - 15 September 2011 05:28 AM

    Brad:

    I?d rather see Google in the Android device market and for economics to determine the staying power of licensees.

    Well, that is a strange comment. What made Android work as well as it did to capture market share so quickly was that there was room for many companies to contribute something and make money—to have some ownership in Android’s success. It’s almost ironic that the one handset maker who wasn’t making money was the one Google bought. HTC, Samsung, and LG have all done well making phones. Perhaps not the profit margins of Apple, but quite healthy none-the-less.

    Google needs to remain an influencer with Android, not give into outside suggestions that it be a controller. If there were a graph with influencer on the left and controller on the right of the x-axis, and profits from Android on the y-axis, the peek of a steep hump is at 90% influencer. That leaves plenty of room for even Amazon to come along and effectively fork Android (as B&N has already done), but still not be at war with El Goog.

    Oh BTW, speaking of B&N… Today, they accepted my developer application which gives me the ability to submit applications to their app store for Nook Color. Despite their having crafted a very different UI onto Android 2.2 and limiting many features of it, my Procrastinator Clock worked great without any tuning on their system. That’s an example of how Google can influence and not control. Stick to the core APIs and developers will reach these more vertical devices pretty much for free.

         
  • Posted: 15 September 2011 03:01 AM #7

    Bosco (Brad Hutchings) - 15 September 2011 05:52 AM
    DawnTreader - 15 September 2011 05:28 AM

    Brad:

    I?d rather see Google in the Android device market and for economics to determine the staying power of licensees.

    Well, that is a strange comment. What made Android work as well as it did to capture market share so quickly was that there was room for many companies to contribute something and make money—to have some ownership in Android’s success. It’s almost ironic that the one handset maker who wasn’t making money was the one Google bought. HTC, Samsung, and LG have all done well making phones. Perhaps not the profit margins of Apple, but quite healthy none-the-less.

    It’s not a strange comment. Economics will determine the winners and losers and at this point in time with the mass consumer migration to smartphones there might be enough revenue to provide slim margins to a number of players. The Android market (like any expanding platform) is segmenting and I expect both losers and winners.

    I do see an attractive market for a few handset makers producing high-quality Android handsets running the latest Android releases. Google will tailor the market to suit its needs.

         
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    Posted: 15 September 2011 03:11 AM #8

    It would seem to me that the carriers would prefer someone to have the same phone for a few years than to be upgrading because the old ones life expectancy has run out. This is where Apple wins, the phones just keep working.

    WS must be concerned about GOOG because its share price is stinking the place up.  :bugeyed:

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  • Posted: 15 September 2011 06:32 AM #9

    It seems to me that all this simply confirms Google has knowingly stolen intellectual property without negotiation or agreement, and is buying up unrelated patents in order to fight dirty. It seems to me likely that their action won’t play well in court, because it further confirms knowing infringement, and because the courts generally take a dim view of those who artificially switch commercial negotiations into litigation.

    I don’t see that Apple wants more than a reasonable protection to benefit from their own innovation. It seems to me plausible that, as SJ claimed, Google were/are out to destroy iPhone.

    I can’t see that Google can fix their problems by buying 20,000 patents, but they can perhaps extend the legal process long enough to prevent the outcome being commercially relevant.

         
  • Posted: 15 September 2011 08:33 AM #10

    sleepygeek - 15 September 2011 09:32 AM

    I can’t see that Google can fix their problems by buying 20,000 patents, but they can perhaps extend the legal process long enough to prevent the outcome being commercially relevant.

    Not in the case of Oracle though. It is unlikely that this patent tonnage has much to do with Oracle’s line of business.

    Also, even if Google bought MMI for the patent portfolio, it shows world class business na?vet?  to think that everything is OK with the other major Android licencees. A fundamental rule of business is that you don’t compete with your customers, no matter how the situation came about.  Of course Google has no intent to “rub out” other Android licencees, but they sure as hell are a competitor now.

         
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    Posted: 15 September 2011 10:40 AM #11

    You can bet that Samsung and HTC are looking at alternatives.  Both already made Windows Phones so when will we start seeing more WP 7 handsets from HTC & Samsung.  The patent war is rapidly approaching the Mutual Assured Destruction phase, but for Google I fear it’s too little too late.  The Oracle lawsuit is not looking good for Google, Microsoft has already extracted a toll from many android manufactures and Apple is getting early wins against Samsung and HTC.  I’m sure the industry will go back to a detente in a couple years but not until Google is punished for it’s rampant IP theft.

         
  • Posted: 15 September 2011 11:06 AM #12

    pats - 15 September 2011 01:40 PM

    I’m sure the industry will go back to a detente in a couple years but not until Google is punished for it’s rampant IP theft.

    Steal other people’s IP, put your name on it, give it away for free, rail on about “do no evil and open”, and gain market share.  A sure fire recipe for the geeks of the world to stand up and salute to Google as their shining example of how the world should work.  Right Brad?

         
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    Posted: 15 September 2011 11:31 AM #13

    See, this is what I love about Android versus iOS. It’s entirely personal. Lstream, your business model works as well for me as declare yourself a saint, tattoo “falate to 50 pounds” on your crotch, tell ridiculous lies about competing APIs to justify shutting them and their developers out of your ecosystem, then dig up the old “Redmond, start your photocopiers” marketing spin, and launch lawsuits left and right to distract from the fact that the copiers are outselling you by more than 2:1 in phones in the United States now because they have a more adaptive business model and a wider range of products.

    BTW, “Put your name on it.