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Lenovo's Motorola Buy: Government IT Impact
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TogetherinParis
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TogetherinParis,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/31/2014 | 3:35:28 PM
Google kept the patents
Google kept the patents, and just sold the hardware business.  
WKash
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50%
WKash,
User Rank: Author
1/31/2014 | 5:54:22 PM
Patent protection
Google's sale of Motorola is really a testament to the declining value of hardware manufacturing in America and sadly, the rising importance of patent assets as protection to ward off corporate marauders.  
Gary_EL
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Gary_EL,
User Rank: Ninja
1/31/2014 | 7:24:03 PM
Re: Patent protection
As it stands now, hardware manufacturing is race to the bottom, with success based largely on ample, brutally exploited cheap labor. It's only very specialized items for which cost is of secondary importance, such as "land mobile and ruggedized radio gear for warfighters and first responders" that will continue to be made in the US. Eventually, the critical mass of educated talent needed to build these highly specialized devices in the US will be gone. Then what?
Li Tan
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50%
Li Tan,
User Rank: Ninja
2/3/2014 | 1:28:50 AM
Re: Patent protection
Hardware manufacturing is definitely not a business with high ROI nowadays. The design of high-end hardware is really value-adding. The purchase of Moto by Lenovo is somehow a surprise to the industry but in my opinion, it's just something that will happen sooner or later. Lenovo has enlarged its scope a lot in the past few years and it's seeking for all opportunities to gain more market share worldwide. This acquisition will strengthen Lenovo's position in mobile device market but it will not pave the way to US market. Furthermore, for many patents, Lenovo can just use them but did not really own them, which is definitely an issue.
WKash
50%
50%
WKash,
User Rank: Author
2/4/2014 | 12:29:48 PM
Re: Patent protection - and innovation
What's worrisome about the Lenovo deal is what it says about the erosion of America's core expertise and ability to make innovative products.  For the past two decades, we've seen the hollowing out of American manufacturing as financiers kept engineering, design and marketing work here in the US, and farmed out production to China and elsewhere. It was a rationale business model that shareholders rewarded, even as it meant discarding a generation of talented American employees.

But as more companies like Motorola and their intellectual capital are sold to Chinese investors, and as China moves from hardware to software, it's hard to ignore what a slippery slope lies ahead for US industries. Firms like Tesla show the US can still lead the way in innovation. But for companies like Motorola -- once a symbol of US engineering innovation -- to end up in Chinese hands suggests that the engine of innovation in the US economy is beginning to sputter. 

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