Hungry for Patents, Google Buys a Second Batch of 1,000 of Them from IBM

Google has about 20,000 patents now, twice as many as Apple

By on September 15th, 2011 13:11 GMT

Even after getting some 17,000 patents from Motorola, through the acquisition of the mobile hardware maker, which has not been finalized, Google is not satisfied with the patents it's got. It has now been revealed that the company bought another batch of 1,023 patents from IBM last month.

If you've been following Google's patent troubles, you may have heard that Google already bough about 1,000 patents from IBM this summer.

This is a second batch, though, that should help the company further improve its stance.

At this point, Google has, or is about to have, roughly 20,000 patents. There are several thousands more filed by Motorola which have not been granted yet, but are in the process of being approved. That's not bad for a company that started the year with less than 1,000 patents.

This puts Google on equal footing with Microsoft, one of the biggest patent hoarders in the industry. What's more, Google now has significantly more patents than Apple in total.

That's not all, Google has a lot more mobile-related patents now, especially with the acquisition of Motorola, than either Microsoft and Apple, its main competitors in the mobile operating system space.

There's no word on how much Google is paying IBM for the 1,023 patents. There is also no indication of how much it paid for the 1,030 patents it got from IBM earlier.

The Nortel patents cache, which started off the accelerated patent arms race of the summer, went for $4.5 billion - that's for about 6,000 patents. Then again, Google will pay $12.5 for Motorola along with its 17,000 patents and the pending ones.

IBM has tens of thousands of valid patents, filed throughout the world, so it can afford to sell Google 2,000 of them without breaking a sweat. It could be that Google has had its fill of patents, but perhaps it's looking to buy some more. Even if it doesn't, there should be enough to start fighting back against Microsoft and Apple, which is exactly what Google has begun doing. 
Google is looking to bolster its patent portfolio
   Google is looking to bolster its patent portfolio
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