Google Acquires 1,000 IBM Patents

August 1st, 2011 at 10:59 am

Business in tech seems to no longer be limited to innovation and enterprise. It seems that patent litigation has become a bigger part of the business where one tech company tries to sue another for patent infringement in an attempt to delay or inflict considerable financial damage to the other. It seems to have become the ugly side of business in tech and the giants in the industry are usually the primary targets.

One way for tech companies to mount some sort of defense against patent litigation is by acquiring a considerable arsenal of patent portfolio. These patents are usually bought from companies that might have either gone down or about to close shop. And recently, it has become quite a popular undertaking for more and more companies as they try to solidify their patent portfolio. One such recent case is the report that Google has acquired over 1,000 patents that once belonged to IBM.

A recent report indicated that online search giant Google has acquired over 1,000 of IBM patents to include in its portfolio. This was after Google’s own failed bid to acquire a portfolio of over 6,000 Nortel patents which was instead handed to a competing group composed of Microsoft, Apple, Sony Ericsson, Research In Motion and a few other companies. The acquisition of the IBM patents which is said to be composed of patents covering “Web-based querying” to the “fabrication and architecture of memory and microprocessing chips”, may be seen as a consolation of some sort for Google.

Google may be planning on building up on its mobile patent portfolio, currently of which might be considered quite weak. This is important for Google considering that its Android OS for mobile phones has recently become a target for patent litigation. The Android’s rapid rise to popularity may have made it a threat to competitors which have resorted to patent litigation in order to somehow rein in Android’s rapid ascent. The Nortel patent portfolio may have boosted Google’s mobile horde of portfolios. But since it lost the bid, it has been going after other means to boost up its collection of mobile patents. Lately, Google is reported to be in talks on buying InterDigital Inc., a company that owns a veritable portfolio of mobile patents. This would have boosted Google mobile patent portfolio. There’s no word yet on how the talks have proceeded or if it eventually pushes through. But surely such a deal would have run in the billions of dollars for Google. And it may not be that costly an investment, especially if it might help them fight off patent litigation being targeted at the company here and there.


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