Are these the patents Google bought Moto for?

Key technology could be crucial for Android

Some of the patents that Google will own when it acquires Motorola have been detailed, and shows some pretty key tech for mobiles.

One of the most salient is that controlling proximity sensors, or as Bloomberg puts it: 'disabling a "touch sensitive" sensor when a smartphone is near a user's head to prevent inadvertent hang-ups or dialing'.

Also on board is the patent controlling the ability to send GPS coordinates over a data network to allow user location - something that's becoming a real hot topic as geo-based social networking offers an advertising goldmine.

Other patents noted include data packet transmission and 4G technology management, both of which are likely to be fundamental both now and in the future as mobile use continues to explode.

Big hitters

According to the article 18 patents, out of the 17,000-odd Google has picked up, will help strengthen the position of Android against the likes of Microsoft and Apple, and has already been enough to push RIM into a cross-licensing deal.

The patent wars are set to continue for a good long while, with the big names like HTC, Microsoft and Google likely to keep buying up important IP to help stop impending law suits.

The ideal scenario for the consumer is a multitude of cross-licensing deals - each company won't sue the other if each could accuse the other of infringement, and that means the cost of paying royalties won't be passed on to users.

Sadly, this patent rumble looks like it's going trundle on for a while, so stick around as we attempt to pick through the reams of suits and counter-suits.


Phones and Tablets Editor

Gareth (Twitter, Google+) has been part of the mobile phone industry from the era of the brick to the tiny device in the pocket... and now watching them grow back up to behemothic proportions once more. He's spent five years dissecting all the top phones in the world as TechRadar's Phones and Tablets Editor, and still can't resist answering the dreaded question - "which new phone should I get?" - with 15 choices.