Google purchases Big Blue patents to defend Android

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Google purchases Big Blue patents to defend Android

Postby brinkley1988 » Thu Sep 15, 2011 4:38 am

The intellectual property landscape in the mobile industry has posed some challenges for Google's Android platform, pushing the company to seek patents to help defend Android against litigation from other major players. In addition to Google's landmark $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola, it turns out that the search giant has quietly been seeking out other sources of IP.

Google reportedly obtained 1,030 patents from IBM in July and purchased another 1,023 patents from the company last month, according to a Bloomberg report on Wednesday. It's not presently clear what areas of technology the patents cover, but they will undoubtedly strengthen Google's defensive patent portfolio.

IBM is one of the most prolific corporate patent filers in the United States. Big Blue reportedly secured over 5,000 patents last year. Google, on the other hand, has historically shied away from patents and tends to view the intellectual property arms race as an unwelcome distraction. The litigious nature of the mobile industry forced Google to start assembling a defensive portfolio.

Google has already started putting its patents to use. The company handed nine patents to its hardware partner HTC, which has been locked in a lawsuit and ITC dispute with Apple. As Google's competitors in the mobile space circle around Android looking to get a cut of the action or erode its low-cost advantage, the patents that Google is collecting could prove useful.
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