September 15, 2011
Google Defends Android With IBM Patents
A block of 1,023 patents from IBM was purchased by Google earlier this summer in hopes of shoring up its defense strategy against ongoing and future smart phone lawsuits, Bloomberg reports. Neither company is revealing what Google paid for the patents.
The search giant will also have a list of 17,000 patents under its wing when it completes its acquisition of Motorola Mobility. Kent Walker, Google´s senior vice president and general counsel, has said that the company sees acquiring its own massive patent portfolio is its best defense offending off litigation from Apple and others.
“One of a company´s best defenses against this kind of litigation is (ironically) to have a formidable patent portfolio, as this helps maintain your freedom to develop new products and services,” he said in a company blog post in April.
“Google is a relatively young company, and although we have a growing number of patents, many of our competitors have larger portfolios given their longer histories,” Walker added.
Google´s mobile operating system Android is a free open-source program that relies on some non-proprietary features allowing outside developers to modify the code. Google cannot claim creation rights to a large portion of that programming.
This leaves Google and handset makers that use the OS vulnerable to lawsuits claiming Android was built on the backs of research done by other technology companies.
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