It seems like Google will be getting the nod from European and U.S. regulators this week for the Google-Motorola merger. The acquisition was announced August last year and cost Google $12.5 billion. Despite the impending approval, it highly likely that they would continue to face scrutiny due to licensing problems with smartphone patents.
Mobile phone developers are battling it out in courts all over the world over who owns what over patent technologies. It has reached the point wherein phones from certain companies have been barred from selling in some countries due to infringement issues.
According to American Antitrust Institute President Bert Foer, “It’s kind of a Cold War being played out here. We’re watching a form of warfare play out in which the system makes no sense but leads the players to mutually arm themselves with these missiles that they can utilize in order to achieve mutually assured destruction.”
Motorola currently has patents over online video and Wi-Fi.
According to Robert Barr, executive director of the Berkeley Center for Law & Technology, “Google needs those patents because it is fighting a war. They have to get approval.”
Microsoft and Apple have agreed that no use of injunctions without exception for standards essential patents they own. “Standard essential” means that they view it as a core to the interoperability of a technology and are licensed under fair and reasonable terms.