Google's multi-billion dollar purchase of Motorola Mobility was fueled by the virtual land-grab which has been driving smartphone news over the last months. But until now, observers only had a vague idea what type of protection Google's newly acquired intellectually property would provide developers. But thankfully for us there are people like David Mixon, Patent lawyer extraordinaire, out there to wade though the tidal-wave of paperwork so we don't have to. According to Mixon, 18 of the reported 24,000 patents/patent applications are of vital importance to the Android system and will play key rolls in its development.
These 18 patents cover such diverse topics as location services, antenna design, email distribution, touchscreen use, software management and wireless technologies, dating as far back as '94. Further patents concern such basic ideas as switching off the touchscreen when a user is making a call to prevent accidental button-mashing or another dealing with expanding the storage space.
It remains to be seen if Google's takeover will go off with out a hitch. If it does it will be exciting to see how the newly acquired patents will effect Android development in the future.