One way to end a lawsuit: Visto gets Good

What started out as a move by Motorola to become a serious contender in the mobile e-mail services space has ended up playing into the hands of a company with a familiar name among certain attorneys.

Visto -- which held several patents in mobile e-mail, whose litigation against Research in Motion is still pending, and which settled its suit against Microsoft last year -- has agreed to acquire Good Technology from Motorola, which only purchased it in 2006.

Obviously, Motorola's earlier plan to split into two spinoff firms, with one concentrating on components and the other smartphones, hit a serious snag on account of the poor global economy. In the meantime, the acquisition will very likely bring to an end Visto's 2006 suit against Good, prior to Motorola's acquisition. It also means Visto becomes a legitimate contender in the mobile services space, with more than just intellectual property to defend.

Motorola never really gave hard numbers on Good Technology's customer base, so analysts tended to use RIM's base as a benchmark. If, as analysts say, Good serviced about 10% the number of subscribers as RIM, then it probably has about 350,000 customers in 100 countries.

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