The deal happened "earlier this summer," according to Motorola, and was first reported on Wednesday by Techcrunch. Motorola did not disclose the purchase price.
280 North is best known for its 280 Slides application and for Cappuccino, an open source application framework. Users of 280 Slides can build presentations in their browsers, easily finding media online to add to their presentations and pulling in PowerPoint documents.
Cappuccino includes tools that let users develop rich web applications.
Motorola is interested in using 280 North's technology and expertise to develop Android applications.
"The transaction provides Motorola with specialized web-app engineering talent and technology that will help facilitate the continued expansion of Motorola's application ecosystem," Tama McWhinney, a Motorola spokeswoman, said in a statement. "We believe 280 North will be instrumental in helping us continue to foster the Android ecosystem with innovative web-based technologies and applications."
Motorola has bet big on Android. In order to differentiate itself from other manufacturers using the OS, it built MotoBlur, a user interface that combines information from social networking sites including Facebook and Twitter. But Motorola recently said that while it will continue to load MotoBlur on future phones, it would stop advertising and promoting the MotoBlur brand.
The acquisition comes as Motorola continues to prepare to spin off its handset business. The company first started talking about the spin-off in 2008 and has shelved the idea since. It now hopes to separate the business early next year.