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Google buys 1,023 patents from IBM to protect Android

Big Blue helps the Green Machine
Thu Sep 15 2011, 14:37

SOFTWARE DEVELOPER Google has bought 1,023 patents from IBM to bolster its patent portfolio.

Last month Google announced its intention to acquire Motorola Mobility for $12.5bn, with the firm's 17,000 strong patent portfolio cited as a major reason. Now Google has added a further 1,023 patents from IBM in a bid to protect its Android operating system and its Open Handset Alliance partners that load it onto their devices.

Several notable Android smartphone makers including HTC, Motorola and Samsung have been sued by Apple and Microsoft, while Google itself has been sued by Oracle over alleged patent infringements in Android. Google transferred nine patents to HTC in its fight against Apple.

Google previously bought 1,030 patents from IBM back in July, though there's no information available on the amount it paid in either transaction.

While IBM might seemingly be ignoring the smartphone boom, Big Blue has one of the biggest patent portfolios in the computer industry from its decades of research and development. It is often said that even if IBM didn't sell a single thing it could keep going on patent royalties alone, and judging by Google's repeated interest, Big Blue has a lot patents that are valuable in today's market.

It's likely that Google's patent purchases from IBM will provide immediate relief for it and Android device makers until its proposed acquisition of Motorola gets approved by US regulators. µ


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