Aug 22nd, 2011

Just the other day, we were wondering how much of Motorola Mobility’s patents Google actually valued and would use in their efforts to defend Android. In Google’s proposed purchase of MMI, they will take on 17,000 existing patents while another 7,500 are pending approval (and odds are they certainly will get that approval).

According to patent lawyer David Mixon, about 18 of Motorola’s patents will be key in Google’s defense of the fastest-growing smartphone operating system ever. Just what are these patents, you ask?

One patent from 2001 disables a “touch sensitive” sensor when a smartphone is near a user’s head to prevent inadvertent hang-ups or dialing. Another from 1994 aims to increase data storage, while a third enables users to control when a global positioning system sends their location data over a network.

If that is true, I’d say Google has a strong left hook waiting for Apple, RIM and Microsoft in the legal battlegrounds of the world. As I speculated last week, it’s entirely possible that Motorola wasn’t using patents they already own in defending themselves from Apple.

Other things supposedly covered in these coveted patents include touch-screen motions (though we’re not sure if that’s the same as proximity-based touchscreen disabling), software-application management and 3G cellular data technology.

So it looks like Google has a gold-mine they’re waiting to sink their teeth into (inappropriate given the circumstances?) but the acquisition still has to be approved. Let’s hope these will be enough to get Apple to call off the hounds. [Bloomberg]

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