Google Builds Patent Arsenal with IBM's Help

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With growing smartphone lawsuits, Android builder Google is taking steps to protect itself and its partners from rivals like Apple and Microsoft in this fiercely competitive business. Consequently, Bloomberg reports that Google has purchased another 1,023 patents from IBM to build an arsenal to defend against smartphone lawsuits.

This latest patent acquisition comes on top of Google’s purchase of 1,030 patents from IBM in July and recent proposed $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility. Media reports indicate that the latest IBM patent transfers took place last month.

According to Bloomberg reporters Susan Decker and Brian Womack, Google is building an arsenal of patents that the company has said is largely designed to counter a hostile, organized campaign by companies including Apple and Microsoft against the Android operating system for mobile devices.

As per the report, Android, which is a free, open-source program, relies on some nonproprietary features Google did not create and allows outside developers to modify the code. “That has left the company and handset makers that use the system vulnerable to lawsuits claiming Android was built on the backs of research done by other technology companies,” wrote Decker and Womack.

Recently, it has been reported that Android based smartphone makers HTC, Samsung Electronics Co. and Motorola Mobility have each been taken to court by Apple, while Microsoft and Motorola Mobility have exchanged patent-infringement allegations.

Last month, according to Bloomberg, Google transferred nine patents to HTC to help the Taiwan based company defend itself from Apple’s patent infringement lawsuit. Google acquired these patents from Motorola Mobility, Hewlett-Packard and Open Wave.




Ashok Bindra is a veteran writer and editor with more than 25 years of editorial experience covering RF/wireless technologies, semiconductors and power electronics. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell
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