In an effort to protect its mobile Android operating system against lawsuits from other manufacturers, Google has purchased Motorola’s mobile division, and with it the 17,000 patents Motorola owned.

The entire effort has cost Google US $12.5 billion for Motorola, in a move that will likely strengthen Google’s mobile operating system from legal threats.

“Motorola Mobility’s total commitment to Android has created a natural fit for our two companies,” said Larry Page, CEO of Google. “Together, we will create amazing user experiences that supercharge the entire Android ecosystem for the benefit of consumers, partners and developers.”

This comes at a time when smartphone and tablet makers are defending their products from legal threats, with Apple currently engaged in legal battles with Samsung, HTC, and Motorola over its mobile products. In Australia, Apple has currently blocked the release and sale of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1, the company’s next potential iPad competitor.