Google Acquires 1,030 Patents From IBM

However, Google isn't standing still and recently purchased 1030 patents from IBM's virtually infinite patent portfolio. It is a significant step for Google and more than doubles the company's current patent holdings.

For Google, this purchase has less to do with actual technology licensing, but more of a move to protect itself from lawsuits. According to SEO by the Sea, the IBM package includes patents relating to the fabrication and architecture of memory and microprocessing chips, to other areas of computer architecture including servers and routers as well. There is a decent chunk of patents relating to search technology, and could also be used to improve the defenses for its core search business. For IBM, which has been known to be building a business out of patents, it is not a particularly large loss; the number of patents sold is below than what the company typically gets granted in a 3 month period.

There was no note of the purchase price, but the overall purchase may fuel speculation whether Google is interested in moving into new markets that it does not address at this time. Why would Google be interested in the fabrication of memory and microprocessors? Perhaps those patents just came with the deal, and may not relate to Google's intentions - especially since CEO Larry page recently said that Google is going to focus on its core strengths?

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  • Silmarunya
    There was a time when a patent existed to protect an inventor from copycats or to ensure a pharmaceutical company had an incentive to research drugs with a small target market.

    And then lawyers took over the world. And the high tech industry started growing. Soon, a patent became a vague legal document used as a weapon in expensive skirmishes between bitter tech moguls and their greedy legal departments.

    Where is that patent reform we need so badly? We still use patents the way we used them when they were simply technical descriptions of an invention, not a vague text written in legalese that is as open to interpretation as the Bible.
    22
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  • webbwbb
    Its just speculation, but it may be something they can use against Apple. Apple is moving into microprocessor architecture and suing Google partners over Android. If Google gets patents that Apple may be violating they may be able to join partners in suits and countersue over these newer patents. I essentially see it as away of protecting the Android ecosystem.
    8
  • Silmarunya
    There was a time when a patent existed to protect an inventor from copycats or to ensure a pharmaceutical company had an incentive to research drugs with a small target market.

    And then lawyers took over the world. And the high tech industry started growing. Soon, a patent became a vague legal document used as a weapon in expensive skirmishes between bitter tech moguls and their greedy legal departments.

    Where is that patent reform we need so badly? We still use patents the way we used them when they were simply technical descriptions of an invention, not a vague text written in legalese that is as open to interpretation as the Bible.
    22
  • bustapr
    well, we just have to be thankful that it was Google who bought those patents
    0