Google Acquires More Patents from IBM


As the final days of 2011 came and went Google managed to add even more to their patent portfolio with the acquisition of 217 patents previously owned by IBM. The move follows Google’s purchase of over 2,000 patents from IBM earlier in the year as well as the absorption of Motorola’s catalog of intellectual property after buying out the mobile manufacturer. 188 of the newly acquired patents are current while 29 are pending final application approval and cover everything from servers and data caching to how a mobile phone displays a webpage and deploys near-field technologies.

The sale shouldn’t hurt IBM’s already strong patent portfolio. The 2011 number aren’t in, but in 2010 the company was granted over 5,000 new patents and will likely reach a similar number for this year past. The purchase does show that Google is still searching for a bit more security in the face of an upsurge in patent litigation throughout the tech industry.

[via TechWeekEurope]

Kevin Krause
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  1. nice move google

  2. Is it just me, or does the fact that you can buy and sell patents in the first place not demonstrate that there is something seriously weird with the patent system? Licensing out the use of a patent is one thing, but actually selling it? “The idea that I came up with is now yours”? Bizarre. 

    1. Why not invent something, then sell it to someone else and allow them to use it however they want for money? It’s all about profits man.

      1. But that is why you license it. More money to be had getting paid over time than a single up front payment after which you lose the patent.

        1. Might be good some time but other times you need the money now… or in Googles case… they don’t want to rent a patent for themselves.. they want to buy a patent to use in defence in a patent war. In that case it’s either sell or nothing.

      2. Sure, I understand why people take advantage of the system. I’m just saying that, surely, it’s a symptom of the system being totally ill-fit for purpose?

        1. The problem lies in bankruptcy. If patents couldn’t be sold, then when companies and people with patents to their names became bankrupt, they’d get to keep those assets instead of being able to liquidate them to pay off creditors. The Nortel bankruptcy was able to be paid off because of this. If the patents couldn’t be acquired, then nobody could use the invention until after the patent expired. That’s a long time for an idea to never be used.

    2. Yeah… but this isn’t as bad as the problem of the patent office granting patents for technology that is already being used by others. I have to assume most of the time they don’t have the slightest clue what they’re granting a patent for.

      “Hmm, a screen with icons on it… sure, that sounds original… PATENT GRANTED”

    3. A patent is an asset, so why shouldn’t you be able to sell it.  Admittedly, an intellectual asset, but still no different than selling any capital asset.

  3. Nice, now check if Apple is using any IBM patents acquired and negotiate a new patent deal.

  4. Good for google. They have to do this to protect themselves.

  5. I think IBM will become addict to sell they patent to Google

  6. Go google!

  7. I think if I build something and can sell it but someone else builds the same thing only better then they should be able to sell it also. The patent industry is all about money just like everything else the govt comes up with. Why can’t I build a better patent system, why can’t FedEx ship mail. The govt is one big monopoly in everything it does.

  8. Now they surely have enough, Right! let’s start with Apple and finish with microsoft.

  9. Google have to protect themselves but it’s horrible to see such a woeful system used to stunt innovation. How long to patents last, 20 years? That should be more like 2 years, at least then a moronic patent which should never have been granted won’t stuff up half the industry for long. 2 years is long enough to make a lot of money in today’s technology industry, but maybe not so long as to make using patents to stop innovation a practical business model.

    1. what and have Apple innovate? That’s just not right 

  10. i dunno man, I’m still craving a new android device but I still feel like google is kinda evil…everytime one of these companies buys more patents or a smaller company I get this vague sinking feeling. I mean that’s just how business is done right…? but somehow…guess I’m gettin old or something.

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