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Motorola vs. BlackBerry: Will Innovation Make the Sale?

Will patents be the key to a successful sale of Motorola’s handset division?

Motorola is seeking strategic options for the unit — which hasn’t recaptured the glory of its RAZR days — not a battery of legal maneuvering against Research in Motion, the maker of the dominant BlackBerry smartphone that has arguably played a huge role in hurting Motorola’s market share (and, probably, everyone else’s).

Motorola has waged battle against RIM over technology that allows devices to communicate through Wi-Fi as well as cellular services.

Motorola just installed a new chief financial officer, Paul Liska, with close ties to private equity. Liska was an “industrial partner” for MidOcean Partners, CVC Capital Holdings and Ripplewood Holdings LLC, which means that the PE firms often installed Liska to help run their companies.

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