Why Google's Motorola Patent Play Backfires

By: Scott Cleland

Source: www.forbes.com

The linchpin assumption undergirding Google’s defense of its purchase of Motorola — to gain ~17,000 patents “to better protect Android” — and Google’s overall defense against what it calls a “hostile organized campaign against Android by Microsoft, Oracle, Apple and other companies waged through bogus patents,” is that Google is on the law-abiding side of its property rights disputes – when the evidence shows it is a property scofflaw.

Google’s biggest gamble here may not be its impetuous purchase of Motorola, but its brazen attempt to divert antitrust attention from its own predation, by claiming to be the victim of anti-competitive patent litigation, when Google’s own ignominious property infringement track record has been core to the rise and extension of Google’s monopoly power.

Having reviewed scores of acquisitions for antitrust concerns over the last twenty years, I do not see a traditional merger-specific antitrust problem with the vertical combination of Google and Motorola. However, I do foresee a big antitrust behavior pattern problem stemming from Google forcing antitrust attention upon one of its own biggest antitrust vulnerabilities, i.e. Google’s monopolistic pattern of behavior of infringing others property rights for anti-competitive gain. Google is making the classic mistake of throwing stones from a glass house.

My point here is simple. Effectively Google is daring antitrust authorities to connect-the-dots of its high-profile, longstanding anti-competitive pattern of infringing others property to grow and extend its monopoly power.  Property rights are central to America’s Constitutional free market system, and never before has antitrust authorities encountered such an unabashed, pervasive, serial property rights scofflaw as Google.

Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/scottcleland/2011/09/09/why-googles-motorola-patent-play-backfires/