Google buys IBM patents, may be smartphone patent defense

While Google's head lawyer, Kent Walker, says the plague of patent infringement lawsuits is stifling innovation, that doesn't mean he won't buy some. And in fact he did, for an undisclosed price, according to PC World.

This may or may not be related to the swing and a miss Google took last month at over 6,000 patents covering a wide range of smartphone technologies. Microsoft and Apple teamed up with a few other companies to grab the patents from Nortel. They paid $4.5 billion, while Google stopped bidding at $900 million. No word on the price for the 1,000 patents from IBM. But there are plenty of words about the patent mess as people realize these high prices will come out of the customer's pocket sooner or later.

PatentGeddon lives on

Private demands are driving this train. In fact, I'd bet there are lobbyists in Washington, D.C. telling politicians that more patents means more innovation, if not today, then yesterday or the day before.

Edwardifbd on

This is a clue to me that Google does not have the expertise to keep up with Apple and knows it will lose the next bidding war with Apple gaining another treasure trove of patents.

mdrifmeyer on

All of these Apple vs. Google arguments make me want to puke. It reminds me of the Apple vs. Microsoft crap.

island hermit on

There's money in them thar' patents

Google is so full of it when they talk about patent reform and how it "inhibits" innovation. Just like how they've created this myth the Andriod OS is "open" when they guard that source code like it's a gold unicorn.

blursd on

The latest Android phone source code, 2.3.3, is here. Feel free to use it.

Gatorguy on

The selling of patents is a common practice among tech companies. IBM does sell bundles of patents often as well as licenses others. It all depends on what they see as critical to the direction of the company.

Zeus Courois on

Lawyers will strangle us all

This must be a direct result of Oracle's actions against Android. Today's gambit is moving pawns around the board.

Joshua Poulson on

There is a simple solution to these Technology Patent Wars without having to radically change the patent system, reduce the term of the patents. Since technology moves at such a rapid pace Patents should become public domain after about 5 years.

Callumupjw on

lol...Apple is the most sued tech company since about 2008. It has got a long way to go to catch up with the most sued corporations. Of course, Apple is also does the most suing of any tech company. Most of the lawsuits against Apple are counter-suits. Stop buying the PR hype.

unbound on

How can Google investors not see the huge red flag here? Google is scrambling to build a patent portfolio because they are afraid both their past and future revenues are at risk of infringement claims.

Chan Himel on

Is Google being smart here? (Yes/No). Are patents killing innovation and raising costs? (Yes/No).

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