Microsoft wanted to buy Motorola too

Google wasn't the only one with an eye on Motorola and its patents, according to reports. Microsoft also fancied the phone-maker.

Google wasn't the only company interested in snapping up Motorola -- Microsoft was one of several parties in talks with Motorola before the big G came along and snapped it up for a cool £7.6bn, according to a report from Gigaom.

But why? Apparently Microsoft was courting the fair lady Motorola, lavishing her with sweetmeats and oaths of fealty, with an eye to getting its hands on her buxom patent portfolio.

Being one of the earliest companies to get stuck into mobiles, Motorola owns an arsenal of saucy phone-related patents that a parent company could use to sue, or counter-sue other companies.

It's reported that one of the reasons Google was so keen on buying Motorola was so it could use its patents to defend its Android operating system against litigious foes like Apple -- and Microsoft.

If Microsoft had acquired Motorola, it could use that array of patents against Android. The Redmond renegades already dealt Google's mobile OS a blow after making HTC sign a deal to pay Microsoft $5 for every Android phone HTC sells.

According to the report, Motorola was more inclined to sell to Google, because Microsoft didn't want to run a hardware business and was primarily after those sweet, sweet patents.

That's possibly an oversimplification, but Google has already accused other companies , including Apple and Microsoft, of ganging up on Android. Apple has managed to get the Android-powered Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 banned from sale in Europe .

What do you think? Is all this patent nonsense patently nonsensical? How many patents do you own? And can we have them? Let us know your feelings in the comments section below, or on our Facebook wall

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About the author

Luke Westaway is a senior editor at CNET and writer/ presenter of Adventures in Tech, a thrilling gadget show produced in our London office. Luke's focus is on keeping you in the loop with a mix of video, features, expert opinion and analysis.

 

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