SJVN writes that M$ may have the most profitable operation based on Android/Linux thanks to its software patents but he also reminds us that Google is in the process of buying Motorola which is the only major Android/Linux player which has not agreed to pay M$.
It is possible that Motorola and M$ have already agreed to something but M$ states that Motorola does not have a licence. That leads to two possible outcomes:
- M$ leaves Motorola alone to divide the Android/Linux ecosystem, or
- M$ sues Motorola/Google sooner rather than later.
The first possibility is unlikely to fly as it deflates the FUD. The second possibility looms large as there’s no one left to sue in the big players. M$ is unlikely to bother with the small players.
That leaves a likely tangle between M$ and Google in court. Google/Motorola may have some patents to throw at M$ but M$ is the elephant in the room with many thousands of patents on the wheel, the mouse, the mouse click, etc. It could get very interesting before M$’s patented house of cards collapses. At the rate Oracle’s case v Google is collapsing, M$’s might be a huge embarassment. Oracle’s case is mostly about the Android part of Android/Linux and M$’s case would be mostly about the Linux part so together, everything would be covered. I can imagine some very interesting motions that Google might launch like getting M$ to actually list the patents it believe Linux infringes and how. Then the patents could be challenged publicly and shot to pieces. That would soon kill M$’s extortion racket.