Google splashes out on IBM patents

Google has bought a number of patents from IBM in a bid to enrich its portfolio.

In the face of a number of lawsuits over the intellectual property of Android, Google, renowned for a lack of patents, has made a move towards strengthening its position.

in fact it has been downright dismissive of the patent process recently.

A statement from the firm yesterday highlighted the move which apparently occurred this month, claiming that “like many tech companies, at times we’ll acquire patents that are relevant to our business”.

Of course it lost out recently with a bidding war for sought after Nortel LTE patents, which ended up in the hands of a consortium including Apple, EMC, Ericsson, Microsoft, Sony and RIM.

But now Bloomberg notes that the firm, which is apparently facing six lawsuits surrounding its Android operating system, appears to be making some moves towards strengthening its position. 

And despite Google’s General Counsel Kent Walker claiming that “software patents are kind of gumming up the works of innovation” this week, it appears that the firm is making some headway.

“It is a little step forward,” said patent expert Florian Mueller of FOSSPatents. “It is an area that Google needs to address, and it is a move in the right direction.”

“But the problem is that we don’t know how many or what patents have been acquired.”

 “IBM produces around 5,000 patents a year, so it is unclear whether this means that the two may be forming a useful partnership here, or indeed how useful they are at all.”

 “However every transaction is progress, and I am sure that they will want to reassure the Android ecosystem with such efforts.”