John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Motorola Mulling Patent Offensive?

Motorola’s got a loaded patent portfolio and evidently it’s not afraid to use it.

Speaking at the Oppenheimer Technology and Communications Conference, Motorola Mobility Chairman and CEO Sanjay Jha said the company doesn’t worry much about the IP battles currently being fought in the wireless industry. On the contrary, it looks forward to using its patent arsenal to differentiate itself from other Android handset makers.

“We have a very large IP portfolio, and I think in the long term, as things settle down, you will see a meaningful difference in positions of many different Android players — both in terms of avoidance of royalties, as well as collecting them,” Jha said. “And that will make a big difference to people who have very strong IP positions.”

This isn’t the first time Jha has talked up Motorola’s patent portfolio. He also emphasized it during the company’s second-quarter earnings call, saying Motorola’s more than 17,000 patents are becoming “increasingly important” as new companies enter the mobile space.

“There are really a few areas where our patent portfolio is extremely strong,” Jha said at the time. “First, 2G/3G essentials, I think that is very well understood by the [Wall] street and the industry, and we have monetized that asset over the last few years very well. Probably a little less well known is our strength in patent portfolio in non-essential patents, which are capabilities that are important to have in delivering competitive products in the marketplace. Third, I think is in our video coding/de-coding and security, and fourth, probably least understood and most underestimated , is our strength in our 4G LTE patent portfolio. As I look at these patent portfolios, I feel very good that we will be able to go forward and find ways to create enhanced shareholder value.”

Could this mean that the company is positioning itself to collect patent royalties? Certainly sounds that way.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik