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Google buys 1,030 IBM patents in first serious defense

updated 09:40 am EDT, Fri July 29, 2011

Google buys 1,030 IBM patents in first defense

Google showed its first signs of becoming serious about patent defense with a discovery that it had bought 1,030 patents from IBM. The company quietly took on the intellectual property on July 12 and 13. Many are focused on web search, but others are clearly phone related and include chip and memory design, routers, servers, and others.

The SEO by the Sea findings also showed more abstract patents such as object oriented programming and relational databases.

Google hasn't commented on the patent deal.

Its acquisitions may be an admission that its previous and at times still current strategy towards patents may lead to the collapse of Android as a platform. General Counsel Kent Walker has claimed that Google had the "discipline" not to overbid, like it believed the Apple-led Rockstar group did when spending $4.5 billion on Nortel patents. The attitude, which has been cast by Google as a pro-innovation step, may lead to just the opposite as rivals now have access to thousands of patents they can use to sue Google or its partners and either drive up the price of Android or encourage companies to switch.

Google won't necessarily use the patents to strike first but might use them to countersue or to deter companies that know they would be sued back.

by MacNN Staff



  1. SockRolid

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Finally getting serious

    Google is finally waking up. Doing all this grown-up patent stuff that they had casually blown off before.

    Too little too late?

  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Joined: Dec 1969


    macnn misses the point again

    the author doesn't really understand how patents work.

    They don't need a cellphone patent to protect their cellphone business - geez, THINK.

    They are being sued by Oracle - what they need is a database patent that Oracle RDBMS is violating.
    IBM has been in the database business a long time with DB2 - hopefully they have a nice patent there somewhere....that's what you need in this world - the counter sue patent.

    And for Apple - they need a patent on a license to print money or something - ahahaha, lord...that'd be a good patent against Apple.

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