Google has snapped up a new patent haul, buying over a thousand from IBM in what’s believed to be another attempt to shore up Android’s defenses against Apple and others. The 1,023 transferred patents were detailed by the US Patent and Trademark Office, with Google subsequently confirming the deal had taken place. It’s not the first such transaction we’ve seen; back in July, Google bought a different 1,030 patents from IBM.
Neither company is saying exactly how much Google paid for the IP, though it’s unlikely to have come cheap. Although CEO Larry Page has previously insisted that the Android patent situation is “not critical” - and that the company would rather concentrate on developing its own technologies instead of acquiring the rights to others – the search giant has nonetheless stepped up its patent shopping game.
The Motorola Mobility acquisition, costing Google $12.5bn, will net the company in excess of 17,000 new patents. Recently Google sold a selection of patents to HTC – some of which it had previously acquired from Motorola – which the handset company then used to sue Apple.
HTC is one of a number of firms using Android in its line-up which has come under legal attack from the Cupertino company, with numerous lawsuits ongoing in various countries. Google chairman Eric Schmidt has accused Android’s attackers of jealousy and a shortfall in innovation.