Google has purchased 1030 patents from IBM to bolster its defensive patent holdings. The patents are broad with some details from SEO by the Sea who broke the story.
Last year during August, Google was sued for infringement on seven Java patents in the Android phone operating system by Oracle after acquiring Sun Microsystems in 2009. According to The Seattle Times, HTC is paying Microsoft $5 for each Android phone it produces with HTC open to discussion with Apple after been sued by Apple. A handful of other phone manufacturers of Android also face legal action from Apple and Microsoft.
Google and many other technology companies are playing catch-up to prevent software patent ligation. Kent Walker, general counsel at Google, wrote on the Google blog that “the tech world has recently seen an explosion in patent litigation, often involving low-quality software patents, which threatens to stifle innovation.”
Earlier this year Google lost to a consortium of Apple, EMC, Ericsson, Microsoft, Sony and Research in Motion to buy the patents from the defunct Nortel Networks. The consortium paid $4.5 billion while Google offered to pay $3.14159 billion, the same number as pi. Nortel Networks had a patent profile of more than 6,000 patent and applications for patents. The U.S. Department of Justice has opened an investigation into the deal.
Rumors that Google and Apple are in talks of buying InterDigital, a wireless technology company who say their technology is used in every mobile phone, would further increase Google’s patent profile if successful. The company has “8,800 U.S. and foreign issued patents combined” and “almost 10,000 patent applications in process around the world.”
Last year, IBM received more than 5,000 patents, IBM believes this is due to their annual $6 billion spent on research and development (R&D). IBM said “IBM’s 2010 patent total nearly quadrupled Hewlett-Packard’s and exceeded the combined issuances of Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, Oracle, EMC, and Google.”