Google Acquires IBM Patents

January 4th, 2012 at 2:35 pm

The patent wars between companies are getting more and more interesting when it comes to the industry giants in the tech world. On the online and mobile front, the practice of acquiring an arsenal of patents has been more active than ever. These patents serve as a means to either protect or even mount patent litigation on other companies, usually competitors on the same market. They become weapons to either attack or defend a certain turf. Those with a vast arsenal of patents usually have the advantage. That is what search giant Google is trying to become.

Google has recently been rebuilding its own patent arsenal to give it a more “distinct business advantage” and survival in markets that it has entered into. A recent move has it acquiring more than 200 patents from IBM. Data from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office indicate that Google has recently acquired around 200 patents that came from IBM. The deal took place in December 30 of last year, as indicated in the data. The patents cover with a wide range of technologies including those for wireless phones, JavaScript widgets, network performance, instant messaging applications and more. So far, Google has not sent out any announcement regarding the recent deal.

No longer does business success depend on pure innovation alone. Survival seems to be also dependent on how a business giant effectively deals with patent litigation. The only way to deal with such issues is by amassing a vast portfolio of patents that may serve to defend against costly patent infringement lawsuits. That is what most tech giants are currently doing, including Google.

Google may be considered as a latecomer when it comes to rebuilding its patent portfolio. But it has since become more aggressive in trying to acquire as many tech patents as it can that is owned by other companies, usually on technologies that are linked to some of its current products. Google realized that it may have an inadequate patent portfolio when it entered into the mobile market sometime in 2007. It became a target for intellectual property litigation from other competitors in the business. Its modest patent portfolio makes it unable to mount a considerable enough defense to protect itself from such.

Its deal with IBM with regards to acquiring patents dates back from last year in the months of July and September, when the online search giant was able to acquire the initial batch of IBM-owned patents. The recent deal was only the latest in the said patent exchange agreement. And with its pending deal with Motorola Mobility, Google might have acquired a considerable arsenal of patents that would help make it a worthy adversary for any other company when it comes to costly intellectual property litigation.


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