Google Buys Over 1,000 Patents From IBM, Not All Are Mobile-Related


The folks who are responsible for Android’s success are looking to protect their investment as they have bought even more patents in an attempt to protect themselves and their partners. Google and IBM reached a deal where Google would receive over 1,000 patents, 1,030 to be exact.

These patents aim to help Google in several different avenues “from the fabrication and architecture of memory and microprocessing chips, to other areas of computer architecture including servers and routers as well. A number of the patents also cover relational databases, object oriented programming, and a wide array of business processes.”

Some of that could help Google in mobile and a lot of it might not. It’s a start, though. Google had hoped to secure even more relevant patents to help them keep the attack dogs away from Android as they had hoped to cash in on Nortel’s patent portfolio, but they were outbid by a group made of Apple, Microsoft, RIM, Sony and others.

The portfolio would have gotten Google over 6,000 patents – many of which would help them in mobile – to shield themselves from the death rays of big, evil corporate lawyers. This is a good step into another direction, though, and we’re hoping Google continues to find their way in the patent space thanks to the special team they’ve formed not too long ago for these very reasons. [CNN]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. “A number of the patents also cover relational databases, object oriented programming, and a wide array of business processes” – Hmmm, I wonder how many of these could potentially be used for a countersuit against Oracle? Bargaining tools for the current litigation, perhaps?

    1. Relational databases, object oriented programming….I dont know exactly what that means….but I wonder if it could help HTC in their Apple case?

      1. If the patents are relevant, if Apple is infringing them in a product they sell, if they are recognized in a court room as valid and if Google SELL them to HTC then it could help them in some small way. But that is a lot of if’.

    2. Well… the HTC suit isn’t as imperative as the oracle suit. Save money by defending yourself in the Oracle Case by buying more patents. HTC case is still developing….. They are not even accepting settlement agreement offers yet.

  2. good for google

    1. Good for Google, and Good for IBM!

      Thank you IBM…. you continue to do the world great services!

      Its companies like this, that prove that they uphold the morals they built their company around.

      I have spoken to many former IBM employees…. (some bitter some not) they all agree that this was the right move for both IBM and Google.

      1. The news was just announced and you have already spoken to “many former IBM employees” about this. You sir are a troll.

    2. Would have been better if they had created the patents themselves. Buying patents is easy…you just need cash. Creating patents is harder because it requires innovation.

  3. Go Google, get as many as you can… Fight off the Rotten Fruit!

    1. Yes, but please don’t counter sue…. Don’t sink to their level…. The public will notice….. besides… that money could be used to buy more patents, instead of legal/lawyer fees.

      Go Google Go!

      Don’t stop until you have a Googolplex of patents. Then let the android phone manufacturers that have been taking the hit this whole time…. go after apple…. You supply the artillery…. they will supply the guns…

      Have a pow wow with Sammy and HTC….. let them know the deal…. they have your back….

      Take down Sony first, the rest will rot like an Apple with a bad core!

      1. If Google own the patents then how are the manufacturers going to go after anyone. The manufacturers license the technology from Google. They don’t own it.

  4. This seems to be the way to use patents if you’re a big company. You don’t need to have invented/improved every part of your products, but you need to pay something to the original inventors, and after that you don’t completely lose patent cases in court and you have some leverage with an agreement/license. It seems fair, the inventors form IBM and IBM that paid for the inventors to tinker and invent, need something in return for their (costly) breakthroughs. If google is raking in so much money from Android, there needs to be some recognition of the inventors that created the foundation of their products.

    1. That’s a nice thought, but patents don’t really work that way anymore.

      Back in the olden days, you could patent a tractor, but this didn’t mean that nobody else could build a tractor – it just meant that it had to be different from yours. The odds of two tractors being exactly alike by sheer coincidence are nil, and so if someone was infringing your patent it generally meant that they were building an exact copy and maybe even passing it off as the original.

      With software patents, you can simply claim ownership of huge ideas. Let’s say I make an augmented reality program that lets you peer into a virtual world through the screen of your phone. This is a pretty generic idea at this point, but I might do some cool stuff with it, and in any event I’m not ripping off anyone else’s code. Nevertheless, some company I never heard of shows up waving a patent awarded in 1997, saying that I stole their idea for “a method for conveying information to a user of a device” or something, and suddenly I have to prove my innocence, even though all I did was write my own code to solve a problem, and I didn’t even use the same math they did.

      Why should I pay anything to the “original inventors”, especially as most “original inventors” have long since gone under and their patents are owned by non-practicing patent trolls?

      1. A patent for an extremely broad idea is not valid. Instead of court anybody can send proof that the patent is invalid to the patent office. The incredibly broad patent may exist but it’s a mistake which can be corrected and there are various ways to contest the validity of a patent. All big companies consider that option before going to court since it’s much cheaper than litigation. Patent trolls are bad but if the patent is invalid they can’t do anything. Patent trolls are also a known problem in the industry and supporting patent reform (supported by most in the industry) will help give patent trolls less power and give the patent office access to more of it’s own money (right now congress takes the money form the patent office and gives back whatever they feel like giving) therefore speeding up mistake corrections etc. But some software patents seem to be worth a patent, specific useful ones for example the software that big banks use to guide their investments. Those can be genius ideas that some person spent countless hours crafting mathematical models. Adding watermarks to comm signals, there are several great ideas that actually deserve patents. Just because patent trolls and mistakes exist, it doesn’t mean the whole idea of software patents is wrong. And I definitely do agree that patent trolls need to return their troll tolls.

  5. Good grab in my opinion. these are small pc`s…anyway, just want google to WIN!

  6. Google will be the next patent troll once they acquire enough patents. play your weak hand now and the strong one later

    1. I wanna believe they will use them in a defensive stance…

      “Dont mess with me and I wont mess with you….”

      Although at this point they’ve already been messed with…

  7. I really don’t think of IBM as a patent troll company, because IBM actually does significant amounts of research and development. Patent trolls don’t invent anything; they just lay claim to vague ideas and sue anyone who creates products or services that relate to the ideas in any way, shape or form.

    1. Patent expert are you? Got some examples to back up your “vague” statement.

      1. It’s common knowledge to anyone that knows anything about patents in the tech industry that IBM has led the way in patent research for at least the past dozen years.

  8. Just hope APPLE DONT SUE ANYTHING RELATED to IBM. Cause everything Apple sees thats itouch/iphone related they sue. Just makes me sick that APPLE KEEP SUING everybody in the industry just because it copies the iphone.

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