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08.13.11

After Icahn Entryism, Motorola Too Considers Strategy of Extorting Linux Phone Makers

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Patents at 10:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Motorola phone

Summary: A blogger alleges that Motorola’s Q2 earnings conference drops hints regarding Android extortion, just weeks after Carl Icahn and fellow hawks ‘stole’ the company’s board

Nokia entryism is easy to see because the new CEO of Nokia came from Microsoft and soon thereafter handed over the company to Microsoft's agenda, more or less neglecting Linux in the process (according to the latest news, the MeeGo phone won’t come to the US or even Germany). But what has been going on in Motorola is trickier to show because Microsoft sued Motorola (while Motorola said it would continue working with Microsoft).

Several weeks ago in IRC, one of our readers said that Icahn had approached Motorola and took control of part of the company, naming patents too. For those who did not notice what Icahn did in order to hand Yahoo! over to Microsoft, read our previous posts about this subject.

Carl Icahn

Earlier today, Slashdot appeared in several circles with a rather surprising headline. “Motorola To Collect Royalties For Android” it says, but the evidence defending this remains limited. The description/summary is weaker than the headline as it merely says that “It looks like Motorola wants to join in on the Android patent licensing fun enjoyed by Microsoft and others.” Given information we previously gave regrading what Icahn the bully had been doing behind the scenes inside Motorola, there’s no surprise there. Just like Yahoo! was brought to its knees by this shark, Motorola too is being pressured by Icahn to use its parents (this was in the news last month). But the headline from Slashdot is still baffling; It’s up for debate whether it is FUD.

The original report making the claim about Motorola is a tad weak. It is showing HP and Nokia in there too (the picture suggesting an attack on Android). Did we miss something? There is also a problem with the argument. It says that Motorola “is rapidly loosing it’s market share and significance in Android market,” which is very arguably true.

“Just like Yahoo! was brought to its knees by this shark, Motorola too is being pressured by Icahn to use its parents (this was in the news last month).”The following part seems more reasonable. The writer says: “Or is Sanjay just hinting Larry here: “You better buy us. Soon. You were ready to pay 4B+ for 6K Nortel patents, and we are worth 6.4B today.””

This is the followup post which we have more of a problem with. It says: “Amidst this Android patent insecurity, Motorola recently started touting the strength of its IP portfolio. Nothing surprising here. Motorola is one of the oldest players, with one of the strongest patent portfolios in the industry. Heck, they invented the mobile phone and have been at it for decades. If other mobile industry players decide to go after Motorola’s Android devices, Moto has a lot of patents to retaliate with.

“However, things made a turn for the worse few weeks ago. During its Q2 earnings conference call Motorola hinted that it is ready to join Android patent racket, and start demanding licensing fees for its IP from other Android manufacturers.”

The Q2 earnings conference is probably not official enough to merit the headline in Slashdot. In fact, unless there is more proof of a liaison around patents against Android, it may be safe to remain observant, also in th face of shameless Microsoft boosters like Florian the lobbyist and Eric Savitz the pretend "journalist", who smears of Google at the moment, trying to portray Google as a looter that “steals” because of its patents stance — an issue we last mentioned yesterday when we covered the opinion of Ubuntu’s Mark Shuttleworth, who alleged that patents are misunderstood, misused, outdated, as one site now paraphrases it. To quote: “Patents are archaic, misunderstood and of little or no help to the entrepreneur, according to Mark Shuttleworth, who leads the Ubuntu Foundation, which is behind the open source operating system. In an interview with TechCentral, Shuttleworth was asked about the escalating patent battle in the mobile industry and he provided some choice quotes.”

Shuttleworth is correct and so is Google. There is a cartel being set up against both of them. Ubuntu is already taxed by the MPEG cartel, which is backed by Apple and Microsoft. Does anyone still deny the importance/priority of eliminating software patents?

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