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Want to know how much Motorola’s patents are worth? It’s $5.5 billion

July 25, 2012

When the news broke about Google’s intention to acquire Motorola Mobility last year, the move was put down mainly as a way for Google to access Moto’s extensive list of patents. However, the industry was left to wonder how much out of the $12.4 billion deal can be attributed to said patents.

Hopes of finding out details of the deal were squashed when the acquisition was finalized on May 2012, but no information was shared with the rest of the world. A recent regulatory filling made by Google now sheds some light on the dollar value of Motorola’s patents.

It turns out that barely half of the money spent to acquire Motorola went to its patents. To be more specific, Google paid $5.5 billion to Moto for its “patents and developed technology”, which Google hopes will help shield the company and Android from patent infringement litigation, and probably allow it to start its own if provoked. We doubt Google would be actively pursuing this option, but sometimes you got to fight fire with fire.

As for how the rest of the purchase price, the money was distributed like thise: $2.9 billion was for cash acquired, $2.6 billion for goodwill, $730 million for customer relationships, and $670 million for other net assets acquired.

Patents-aside, it’s too early to tell whether the acquisition will greatly benefit either sides. During Google’s Q2 earnings call, which was delivered last week, we found out that Motorola has made a worthy contribution to Google’s bottom line. The maker of the RAZR series contributed $1.25 billion in revenue to its parent company. The search giant’s Q2 revenue topped $12.2 billion.

With Google reportedly showing an increasing interest in the hardware business, it is likely we will see the company getting more involved in Moto’s hardware development activity, but that won’t  happen soon. Google CFO Patrick Pichette said that, while people can expect things to change at Motorola, Google has no announcements to make regarding what strategic moves have been planned for Moto.

It looks like Motorola will be left to its own device for now.