Lately, Google can’t get enough of the patent goodness. The company acquired Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion recently and gained over 17,000 patents as a result, and now they just bought exactly 1,023 patents from IBM. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office recorded the transfer on August 17th. The amount Google paid for the patents was not disclosed.
This isn’t the first time Google is taking a bite out of IBM’s patents. Just two months ago, Google bought an additional 1,030 patents from IBM. Between these transfers and the Motorola Mobility acquisition, Google is strengthening its patent portfolio by over 20,000 in just a few months. The main motive to acquire all of these patents is to defend Android. The smartphone operating system has been the target of numerous lawsuits for alleged infringement, thanks to the vulnerability that comes along with being an open platform. Ironically, it’s often not Google that is being sued, but Android manufacturers.
In August 2011, Microsoft sued Motorola Mobility over patent infringement in their Android devices. They released a brief statement including that “Motorola is infringing our patents and we are confident that the ITC will rule in our favor.” In August 2010, Oracle sued Google for similar reasons, saying “In developing Android, Google knowingly, directly and repeatedly infringed Oracle’s Java-related intellectual property.” Earlier this year, HTC got hit with a similar lawsuit from Apple, to which Google offered their support.
These are just a few examples of the attacks on Android, and there’s no doubt of more to come, but by the time the next one hits, Google will be fully prepared to fight back.