Is Google (GOOG) Doing It All Just for the Patents? (MMI) (RIMM)

April 5, 2012 2:34 PM EDT
Maybe other mobile OEMs are safe after all...

According to reports from CNET Thursday, Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) is actually trying to acquire Motorola Mobility (NYSE: MMI) for its patents. The affirmation comes from Allen Lo, Google's recently-appointed Deputy General Counsel. Lo oversees Google's Patent Law Group, joining from Juniper (Nasdaq: JNPR) last January.

Although there is a possibility for Google to come out with a sleek new mobile device or more-functional tablet, Lo said patents were what Google was primarily after.

Lo also said Google plans to maintain its position of never striking first. Though, the company is acquiring a plethora of intellectual property, the reason is to build up its defense against those who come after it.

It wasn't clear in the report how many patents Google was going to get, but prior reports have Motorola at 12,500 patents and 7,500 pending applications.

The news is probably good for HTC, Samsung, LG, and...Casio? Another interesting factoid is in Research In Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM). It was rumored Samsung might make an investment or at least strike a device deal with RIM, but that may not happen if Google isn't focused primarily on developing its own phone.

After all, Google is first a search-and-advertising company before its a mobile software firm. The more users it gets, the better its data, the better price it can charge to advertisers.

Shares of Google are off about 0.5 percent Thursday while RIM is down about 0.9 percent.

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