Tag Archives: Android

Apple was paid $1B for rights to feature Google search engine

It’s no accident that Google is top dog for search on iPhones and other Apple products. It cost the company $1 billion in 2014 according to possibly leaked documents.  

It’s being reported that as part of a five-year case against Google’s apparent use of Oracle’s Java technology, a court heard that “at one point in time the revenue share [between Apple and Google] was 34 percent,” according to a Bloomberg report.

Apple received $1 billion from its rival in 2014, according to a transcript of court proceedings from Oracle Corp.’s copyright lawsuit against Google. The search engine giant has an agreement with Apple that gives the iPhone maker a percentage of the revenue Google generates through the Apple device, an attorney for Oracle said at a Jan. 14 hearing in federal court.

Apple-Google1Oracle has been fighting Google since 2010 over claims that the search engine company used its Java software without paying for it to develop Android. The showdown has returned to U.S. District Judge William Alsup in San Francisco after a pit stop at the U.S. Supreme Court, where Google lost a bid to derail the case. The damages Oracle now seeks may exceed $1 billion since it expanded its claims to cover newer Android versions.

Apple has something to be embarrassed about, claiming that it is dedicated to protecting customer information and not profiting from it.

TechCrunch reported that “Another factoid thrown up by the case included a claim that Android has generated $31 billion in annual revenue to date, of which $22 billion is profit.”

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Reports of the death of IP licensing appear to be exaggerated.

 

Image source: valuewalk.com

Bold IP Moves Enable Microsoft to Lead in Patent Performance

The inability to dominate in its product lines has not prevented Microsoft from crafting a purposeful IP strategy that has generated billions in patent licensing and enables it to participate other technology businesses’ success.

Microsoft is not you typical technology company. The software business has taken more heat over the past 20 years for what it has not achieved than practically anyone.

While missteps in product development and market strategy have slowed Microsoft’s once meteoric growth and hampered its shares, the time and research spent developing new ideas and protecting them are not without a silver lining.

Microsoft has emerged as a study in smart IP management, and what an evolved business can achieve when it understands the power of selected IP rights and how to deploy it. Not only has MSFT (NASDQ), a laggard with just 300 patents and applications a decade ago, established a formidable portfolio of more than 40,000 patents and a successful licensing program generating about $2 billion annually and likely to generate more, it has displayed a marked ability to move swiftly and deploy its huge cash position when the IP opportunity arises.

“Microsoft: Bold Moves and Intriguing Results,”  will appear as the next Intangible Investor in the January IAM Magazine, out this week. The piece looks at how Microsoft, which has failed to dominate in games (Xbox), operating systems (Windows) or search (Bing) has managed to carve out a formidable niche in IP asset management. A few of the more notable Microsoft IP moves are listed below.

Notable Microsoft IP deals, disputes and investments:

– Purchase/License:
From AOL 925 patents and applications, plus 300 licenses for $1.056M (2012)

– Sale:
To Facebook, 650 patents from the AOL deal for $550M (2012)

– License:
For Adaptix patents from Acacia with Samsung (2012)

– License:
74 smartphone patents from Acacia (2010)

021109_2115_PercentofPa1– License:
To majority of Android smartphone manufacturers for up to $10 per unit (2007-2013)

– Acquisition/License:
From Nokia for $7.2B for its mobile phone and services business. Includes, all of some 30,000 Nokia patents for $2.17B over ten years and licensing income from some Nokia licensees (2013)

– Purchase:
Paid approximately $800M for its participation in Rockstar Consortium’s 6,000
patent Nortel portfolio: with Apple, RIM, Sony, Ericsson and EMC. (2011.)

– Suit Filed re: Above:
Rockstar Consortium US LP and Netstar Technologies LLC vs. Google, 13-893. (November)

– MS has been involved in five of the ten largest patent damages suits (see PwC Patent Litigation Study, figure 2c). It has prevailed in three, settled one, and lost at the United States Supreme Court in another.

– Successful Defense:
Eolas (U. of California) v. MSFT; in a decade-long quest for $500 plus in patent damages.

– Successful Defense:
Alcatel-Lucent v. MSFT, reversed $1.53 billion verdict on appeal (2008)

– Unsuccessful Defense:
i4i v. MSFT, $290 loss at Supreme Court (2011)

– Successful Suit:
Won $14.5M in a case against Motorola Mobility/Google for violating FRAND (2013)

– Plaintiff (settled):
Against Barnes & Noble, Foxconn, and Inventec for patent infringement over the retailer’s
Android-based Nook e-readers and tablets manufactured by Foxconn and Inventec (2010)

– Investment:
In 2011, Microsoft announced that it would invest $300M in B&N’s Nook business for a 17.6
percent stake, which ended their patent litigation

– Investment:
Approximately $1B into Intellectual Ventures fund giving it access to IV’s patents (2002)

– Investment:
1.6% of Facebook (2009)

Transactions compiled by Brody Berman Associates

Image source: reuters.com; patentlyo.com

$12.5b Motorola Sale Nets $1b for “Activist” IP Investor Carl Icahn

Recognition of Patent Value Results in Big Shareholder Win –

In developments discussed recently in IP CloseUp, activist IP investor Carl Icahn has made a truly historic impact on the wireless and intellectual property industries with the sale of Motorola Mobility to Google for $12.5 billion.

A couple of weeks ago in an SEC filing Icahn put pressure on Motorola Mobility management, demanding it explore the sale of patents in the wake of the Nortel’s $4.5 billion auction. This move resulted in yesterday’s announcement.

His 26.8 million shares are now worth over $1 billion, up from $655.8 million on Friday. They were worth less than $500 million when Icahn filed an amended 13D on July 20 to suggest that management explore patent sale options. Icahn also urged Motorola two years ago to split into the company into two entities, the Droid-owning Mobility (MMI) and Motorola Solutions (MSI).

It appears that patent-hungry Google has come away a winner, with more than 17,000 focused patents and about 4,000 applications. It also has acquired a business that appears to be in the turnaround mode, reporting strong profits. Shares of InterDigital, whose patents had been sought by Google, dropped just under 20% on Monday. InterDigital will likely continue to be pursued by other smartphone providers, probably at a lower valuation.

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Yet to be answered: What will the deal mean to Google’s Android users like HTC, Samsung, Kyocera and LG?

With Motorola, Google be competing more directly with them in smartphones. Might its OEM partners choose to seek an operating system like Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 or other non-competitive alternatives. Microsoft and Nokia already have agreed to work together.

If so, a Google hardware spin-off may be not-too-far down the road.

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Icahn’s victory is not without its dark side: According to Fortune, “Based on Google’s $40 per share acquisition price, Icahn’s MMI stake currently is valued at around $1.07 billion. His MSI position is at around $1.23 billion. If we add that to the $1 billion in earlier disposals, Icahn has realized or holds around $3.3 billion in Motorola and its successor companies. That’s just 3.5% below Icahn’s original investment — or $120 million — compared to the double-digit percentage losses he previously was facing. For example, he was down more than $700 million when Bloomberg did its math.”

This is not the first time good patents have bailed out investors. It won’t be the last.

Image source: onenewspage.co.uk

Video: Smartphone Patent Fight is Also a War of Words

“What’s Going On?” says Google Chief Legal Officer About Collaborative Bidding –

The battle between Google (GOOG) and is smartphone rivals including Apple (AAPL) and Microsoft (MSFT) got more heated last week.

In a public statement flagged by Bloomberg TV Google Legal Officer David Drummond as saying: “Apple and Microsoft had been at each others’ throats, so when they get into bed together you have to wonder what’s going on.”

Google, with just 693 patents, recently added to its portfolio with a purchase of an additional 1,000 from IBM. It is not clear what those patents read on. Google and its competitors are actively interested in InterDigital’s (IDCC) heavily 4G portfolio.

Drummond said last week “Android’s success has yielded something else: a hostile, organized campaign against Android by Microsoft, Oracle, Apple, and other companies, waged through bogus patents.”

Steven Levy who wrote a book on Google, a latecomer to patent strategy, believes the public war of words may not be enough to fend off businesses holding patents the company needs.

Video source: Bloomberg


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