Google today confirmed reports that it’s selling its Motorola Mobility smartphone business to Lenovo for $2.91 billion.
Interestingly, Google will keep the “vast majority of the Motorola Mobility patent portfolio, including current patent applications and invention disclosures,” the company said in a joint news release with Lenovo. “As part of its ongoing relationship with Google, Lenovo will receive a license to this rich portfolio of patents and other intellectual property. Additionally Lenovo will receive over 2,000 patent assets, as well as the Motorola Mobility brand and trademark portfolio.”
Microsoft and Motorola/Google have been fighting patent battles in various courts around the world for the past several years.
Microsoft contends that Google’s Android operating system infringes on some of Microsoft’s patents. Many companies that manufacture Android devices have agreed to a licensing deal with Microsoft in which they pay Microsoft royalties for each Android device they manufacture. Google’s Motorola has been a notable holdout from that list of companies that have reached such agreements with Microsoft.
Lenovo is also not among the companies that Microsoft has announced it had reached Android patent licensing deals with.
Microsoft sent a statement on the issue, saying: “The only reason our litigation with Motorola hasn’t been resolved is Google’s unwillingness to act reasonably and join the majority of device manufacturers in entering into a licensing agreement. We continue to prefer licensing to litigation as a means to resolve patent disputes and are hopeful we can have a constructive dialogue with Motorola’s new owner that will end the ongoing litigation.”