This Motorola deal continues its downward spiral. It’s already a bad — some might say awful — deal from a pure business perspective. But now the seemingly lone bright spot of the deal for Google — the patents — are turning into a headache as well.
Bloomberg only mildly touches on some of this, Daniel Eran Dilger of AppleInsider and Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents go deeper. Of note: if Google is committed to staying the course with Motorola’s patent licensing strategy (which they say they are), they’re going to find themselves enforcing patents related to H.264, the video codec that Google itself is trying to kill with WebM.
They also may find themselves suing Apple over patents and demanding a royalty for each iPhone sold.
The problem Google is likely to face is that if they aren’t agressive with the patents in the way that Motorola has been, how can they possibly hope to license them in the way they say they will? Who would license something when they don’t have to? This is a slippery slope.
Bigger picture: after going on and on about the dubious patent tactics by rivals like Apple and Microsoft (and rightfully so in most cases), Google may find themselves in the same position thanks to this Motorola deal.