Google buys more than 1,000 patents from IBM, again


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Google has purchased more than 1,000 patents from IBM in its ongoing effort to build up its IP portfolio and defend its Android operating system against lawsuits from rivals.

The patents are widespread in what they cover, applying to mobile technology, user authentication, file system management, circuit board design and technologies relating to desktop and server PCs, according to the SEO by the Sea blog, which first reported the purchase. The patents are detailed online by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.


Google and IBM did not disclose how much was paid for the patents, but this isn’t the first time that the two tech firms have done IP business together.

In July, Google purchased more than 1,000 other patents from IBM after it lost an auction to buy about 6,000 mobile patents from bankrupt Canadian firm Nortel Networks in April. The Nortel patents were purchased by a team of Google competitors that included Apple, Microsoft and Research in Motion for $4.5 billion.

Last month, Google agreed to buy Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion in a move that will not only land the tech giant a hardware company, but also allow it to tap into the thousands of patents Motorola owns.

Google is currently in a patent lawsuit with Oracle over Android use of the programming language Java, and last month it publicly traded shots with Microsoft, arguing about patents via Twitter and in blog posts.

Federal regulators will need to approve Google’s takeover of Motorola before the Mountain View, Calif., company can claim rights to any of the smartphone and tablet maker’s patents, but if that deal is cleared it could be ‘represent the beginning of the end of the patent wars,’ analysts at the Cowen research group said in an email on Thursday.


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-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles