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Google bolsters Android with purchase of 1K more IBM patents

post #1 of 45
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Google has continued its run of intellectual property purchases by acquiring 1,023 patents from IBM in an effort to shore up the defenses of its Android mobile operating system.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office revealed the purchase after recording the patent transfers on Tuesday, as noted by SEO by the Sea. Google spokesman Jim Prosser confirmed the transaction, but declined to provide details of the deal, which took place on Aug. 17, according to the USPTO's records.

The fact that the Mountain View, Calif., software company purchased more than a thousand patents from IBM just two days after announcing its $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola points to its continued interest in building up its patent portfolio, even after staking its claim on Motorola's 17,000 issued patents and 7,500 ongoing applications.

This isn't the first time Google has turned to the well-established technology giant for inventions, as the company purchased a batch of 1,030 patents from IBM in July.

A relatively young technology company given its size, Google has found its smaller IP collection easily outmatched by competitors. CEO Larry Page said last month that the Motorola merger came as an effort to "better protect Android from anti-competitive threats from Microsoft, Apple and other companies."

Google recently complained that its rivals are conspiring against it by banding together to purchase groups of "bogus patents" from Novell and Nortel. In late June, Apple led a consortium including Microsoft, Sony and Research in Motion in bidding against Google. As for the Novell patents, Microsoft claims that Google was actually invited to join the group but declined.

The patent dispute between Apple and Android ratcheted up earlier this month when handset maker HTC took patents it had recently received from Google and promptly sued Apple for infringement. Google itself had received the patents from Palm, Motorola and Openwave over the past year.

Apple is locked in several fierce legal battles with major Android vendors, such as Samsung, Motorola and HTC. The iPhone maker recently won a permanent ban on Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet in Germany and an initial victory in its complaint against HTC with the U.S. International Trade Commission.

Android vendors are also facing a patent royalty assault from Microsoft. On top of a major licensing deal with HTC that may provide $5 per Android smartphone sold, Microsoft has struck patent licensing agreements (1, 2) with Acer, Viewsonic, Wistron Corp., Velocity Micro, General Dynamics and Onkyo Corp.
post #2 of 45
Well I guess the do no evil concept is out the window.
post #3 of 45
More proof that Google expects Apple to be the winning purchaser of thousand upon thousand of VIP patents in the next auction.
post #4 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Well I guess the do no evil concept is out the window.

What's evil about buying IP?

FYI. This is the origin of today's story:
http://www.seobythesea.com/2011/09/g...ust/#more-6675
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post #5 of 45
And in this corner HTC playing the role of Lodsys. IV claims not use patents as an offensive weapon but they will transfer/sell the rights to another company for them to do it.

Now let's see. Google buys a patent from someone that bought it from someone that bought it from someone and then sold it for nominal fee to HTC to sue Apple.

When patents attack. Google the new Intelectual Ventrues.

Heck, at least Apple's patents actually have people from Apple, like Steve Jobs, listed as part of the invention team.
post #6 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven N. View Post

And in this corner HTC playing the role of Lodsys. IV claims not use patents as an offensive weapon but they will transfer/sell the rights to another company for them to do it.

Now let's see. Google buys a patent from someone that bought it from someone that bought it from someone and then sold it for nominal fee to HTC to sue Apple.

When patents attack. Google the new Intelectual Ventrues.

Heck, at least Apple's patents actually have people from Apple, like Steve Jobs, listed as part of the invention team.

No where near all of them Steven. There's a lot of Apple IP that was purchased from the original holder/inventor. Some that are essential to the iPhone and iPad user experience were developed by others and simply purchased by Apple.

Here's an example of one: http://www.pcworld.com/article/14314...echnology.html

Other recent IP purchases by Apple, not including the thousands from Nortel (still pending final approval) are:
http://techcrunch.com/2010/08/09/app...aterials-game/
http://www.xydo.com/articles/2069231...from_freescale
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post #7 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven N. View Post

And in this corner HTC playing the role of Lodsys. IV claims not use patents as an offensive weapon but they will transfer/sell the rights to another company for them to do it.

Now let's see. Google buys a patent from someone that bought it from someone that bought it from someone and then sold it for nominal fee to HTC to sue Apple.

When patents attack. Google the new Intelectual Ventrues.

Heck, at least Apple's patents actually have people from Apple, like Steve Jobs, listed as part of the invention team.

how are Google and HTC anything like the patent trolls you named?
post #8 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

What's evil about buying IP?

FYI. This is the origin of today's story:
http://www.seobythesea.com/2011/09/g...ust/#more-6675

What he meant was instead of steam-rolling products w/o regards to existing patent holders, Google is now acquiring them, with their own money (money which were made possible by doing the former in the first place, e.g. click-ads acquisition in the past).

On that note, I guess they can't change what's underneath.
post #9 of 45
Would it not have been cheaper to pay a nominal fee to the original patent holders instead of all this nonsense?
post #10 of 45
Ahh goog, gotta love those guys, 1023 patents, guess they were starting at 0?
post #11 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

No where near all of them Steven. There's a lot of Apple IP that was purchased from the original holder/inventor. Some that are essential to the iPhone and iPad user experience were developed by others and simply purchased by Apple.

Here's an example of one: http://www.pcworld.com/article/14314...echnology.html

Other recent IP purchases by Apple, not including the thousands from Nortel (still pending final approval) are:
http://techcrunch.com/2010/08/09/app...aterials-game/
http://www.xydo.com/articles/2069231...from_freescale

In the past 4 years Apple has designed and received > 2,000 patents, and most of them relate to the Embedded Space. None of these were bought.

Apple continues to receive very important patents, on a weekly basis.

Apple wins 3-D & Imaging System Patent Stunner

Always a great site to see exactly the patents Apple continues to file and amass. Google, Samsung and more are also listed.

http://www.latestpatents.com/category/apple/

Apple 2011 Patents Granted to date: 531.

Apple will probably break 800 patents this year alone.
post #12 of 45
IBM: In order to buy that patent you have to buy these 1022 other ones for a modest per patent fee.

Google: Ok, but what are they?

IBM: Here's a cool one, look a patent for a bendable paper clip...
post #13 of 45
It's getting bad this patent crap. Who needs to invent anymore when even invention itself is for sale.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #14 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

In the past 4 years Apple has designed and received > 2,000 patents, and most of them relate to the Embedded Space. None of these were bought.

Apple continues to receive very important patents, on a weekly basis.

Apple wins 3-D & Imaging System Patent Stunner

Always a great site to see exactly the patents Apple continues to file and amass. Google, Samsung and more are also listed.

http://www.latestpatents.com/category/apple/

Apple 2011 Patents Granted to date: 531.

Apple will probably break 800 patents this year alone.

No disputing that Apple has a lot that are "home-grown". They also have a lot that were purchased, either as standalone IP or along with a company purchase (touch/gesture patents for instance). Once the Nortel deal gets finalized, most Apple patents will have been purchased rather than developed.
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post #15 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

It's getting bad this patent crap. Who needs to invent anymore when even invention itself is for sale.

That makes as much sense as asking, "Why write when even books themselves are for sale?"
post #16 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

No where near all of them Steven. There's a lot of Apple IP that was purchased from the original holder/inventor. Some that are essential to the iPhone and iPad user experience were developed by others and simply purchased by Apple.

Here's an example of one: http://www.pcworld.com/article/14314...echnology.html

Other recent IP purchases by Apple, not including the thousands from Nortel (still pending final approval) are:
http://techcrunch.com/2010/08/09/app...aterials-game/
http://www.xydo.com/articles/2069231...from_freescale

This is not about Google just buying patents. The difference between Apple and Google is that Google has serially stolen IP from Apple, Sun/Oracle, etc. These patent purchases are an attempt to defend previous thefts. Apple's patent purchases are an attempt to defent legitimate IP.
post #17 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by chabig View Post

That makes as much sense as asking, "Why write when even books themselves are for sale?"

That's the single worst argument analogy I've ever heard.

My point is, in case you missed it, that innovation in the software and tech product world has become about who has the most money, not who's the most inventive or creative. It's sad that it's come to this. The consumer would nearly be better off if patents no longer existed at all at this stage.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #18 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by bitWrangler View Post

Ahh goog, gotta love those guys, 1023 patents, guess they were starting at 0?

hehe,

Heck, I wish our company could afford to buy our way into 'technology'.

Beats the crap out of working our butts off 11 hours a day :-[
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post #19 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by OzExige View Post

hehe,

Heck, I wish our company could afford to buy our way into 'technology'.

Beats the crap out of working our butts off 11 hours a day :-[

This guy gets it. ^^^
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #20 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


The isn't the first time

More for today's typo list
post #21 of 45
I'm guessing the basic terms of the IBM deal were established by the time Google made its silly bids for the Nortel patents.
post #22 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

The consumer would nearly be better off if patents no longer existed at all at this stage.

Do you really believe that? Would Apple have spent the huge amount of money they did to invent the iPhone knowing its IP could be freely ripped off? Would the consumer be better off if the iPhone had never been invented?
post #23 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cpsro View Post

I'm guessing the basic terms of the IBM deal were established by the time Google made its silly bids for the Nortel patents.

Think InterDigital. Google knows it won't get those and they are more valuable than Nortel.

Apple's got patents on the Cloud/Backend and the Frontend with LTE, etc.
post #24 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

That's the single worst argument analogy I've ever heard.

My point is, in case you missed it, that innovation in the software and tech product world has become about who has the most money, not who's the most inventive or creative. It's sad that it's come to this. The consumer would nearly be better off if patents no longer existed at all at this stage.

No they wouldn't.

The sheer fact a small start-up can development patents ahead of budding markets emergence into the general mainstream is due to having Patents to keep monopolies from dictating the evolution of the IT Industry.

The Auto Industry is but one famous example.
post #25 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by shadash View Post

This is not about Google just buying patents. The difference between Apple and Google is that Google has serially stolen IP from Apple, Sun/Oracle, etc.

Exactly!
Quote:
These patent purchases are an attempt to defend previous thefts. Apple's patent purchases are an attempt to defent legitimate IP.

This should be obvious to everybody on the planet, but sadly it isn't. It looks like Google is trying to position themselves to force Apple to accept the thefts. Thus my comment earlier about do no evil. Google is like a forked tongue devil with good and evil coming out of either side of it's mouth at the same time.

Google professes to do no evil but yet is working overtime to put themselves in a position to force Apple to give up defending it's IP. It is a rather disgusting and despicable behavior on Googles part.
post #26 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Exactly!

This should be obvious to everybody on the planet, but sadly it isn't. It looks like Google is trying to position themselves to force Apple to accept the thefts. Thus my comment earlier about do no evil. Google is like a forked tongue devil with good and evil coming out of either side of it's mouth at the same time.

Google professes to do no evil but yet is working overtime to put themselves in a position to force Apple to give up defending it's IP. It is a rather disgusting and despicable behavior on Googles part.

Purchasing patents after you've been shown to violate other patents won't protect you in a court of law.
post #27 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by kerryb View Post

Would it not have been cheaper to pay a nominal fee to the original patent holders instead of all this nonsense?

As Google continues with the success and monopolisation of android search engine and it is clearly getting more and more of a buisness for Google it will become a huge problem for it in antitrust case. Maybe well se Google split up in a year or two if android survives the problems it is facing (java dahlvik/oracle copyright and patent infringments, other patent infringments, motorola favorism and the large stake that google has had to invest in andriod without getting any direct sales from it(throwing away billions and billions just to try to make it fly)).

The whole android thing seems like an endless cashhole for Google. What do investors think about this eating their precious advertising revenue. Eg they would get that same advertising revenue without Android anyway so i dont see the point. Only thing would be to get more evil and profile users more closely for advertisers but that is illegal in most places (they deny doing this but I actually believe they do this right now and are trying to make it even better). Atleast with the money spent on android they cant hold it any longer on the profiling. They need more money on the android business. Otherwise the cost isnt wort it.
post #28 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by shadash View Post

This is not about Google just buying patents. The difference between Apple and Google is that Google has serially stolen IP from Apple, Sun/Oracle, etc. These patent purchases are an attempt to defend previous thefts. Apple's patent purchases are an attempt to defent legitimate IP.

hey there, guy (or lady). I was wondering, umm, do you, like have uhhh, evidence of theft or are you perhaps speaking out your ass?

PS: IP violation does not equal theft. Unless you're calling Apple a lowdown bunch of dirty thieves for STEALING coverflow. o.O
post #29 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by AbsoluteDesignz View Post

hey there, guy (or lady). I was wondering, umm, do you, like have uhhh, evidence of theft or are you perhaps speaking out your ass?

PS: IP violation does not equal theft. Unless you're calling Apple a lowdown bunch of dirty thieves for STEALING coverflow. o.O

Have you not seen the probable case of Googles willfull infringement java that Oracle is pursuing?!?! Do you live in a box??? Every bit of android applications run on this so called java virtual machine which seems to be quite copied and reverse enginered from Sun/Oracle bytecode/binaries. Willfull infringement = triple damages. The evidence looks very good on Oracles behalf. And Googles alternatives seem quite desperate.
post #30 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by AbsoluteDesignz View Post


PS: IP violation does not equal theft. Unless you're calling Apple a lowdown bunch of dirty thieves for STEALING coverflow. o.O

The other thing he ignores is that Apple gets sued on a regular basis for patent infringement.
post #31 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

Purchasing patents after you've been shown to violate other patents won't protect you in a court of law.

Have they been found in violation of several patents? I could find only one, having to do with the Linux kernal. Dunno. I assume you were implying Google "had been shown to violate other patents".

Owning unrelated IP isn't intended to protect you in court decisions in the first place. Purchasing/developing/owning valuable patents can instead move these disagreements out of the courts altogether and into negotiations, the normal flow.
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post #32 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by kerryb View Post

Would it not have been cheaper to pay a nominal fee to the original patent holders instead of all this nonsense?

Under the current system, the only way to defend yourself is to counter-sue, so paying fees won't help, in fact in a lot of cases it's not an option. Competitors simply want you to stop producing anything instead of letting you produce something and they get a fee from your product.

It's just what's so screwed up about the current system, whenever you get a patent you're the only company who can to produce anything related to that patent for the next x years and nobody can compete with you during that time, and then during these x years you can build on the old patent and get a new patent and this goes on and on and nobody can compete with you forever.
post #33 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by drobforever View Post

Under the current system, the only way to defend yourself is to counter-sue, so paying fees won't help, in fact in a lot of cases it's not an option. Competitors simply want you to stop producing anything instead of letting you produce something and they get a fee from your product.

It's just what's so screwed up about the current system, whenever you get a patent you're the only company who can to produce anything related to that patent for the next x years and nobody can compete with you during that time, and then during these x years you can build on the old patent and get a new patent and this goes on and on and nobody can compete with you forever.

Or, during that time, while you're resting on your laurels, someone finds a way around those patents and starts essentially competing with your product. Ah, the market has corrected!

But of course, this drive to find alternatives wouldn't happen if you were allowed to simply copy others achievements.
post #34 of 45
I saw Larry Page at a garage sale in San Jose looking through old boxes of papers hoping to find any used patents he could score cheap. Later I was watching Antiques Roadshow and Sergey Brin was on with some old patents hoping to find out if they were worth anything. Unfortunately that patent from Herman Hollerith for punch cards is not worth much anymore. But I would not be surprised to see support for punch card scanner added to Android in the near future.
post #35 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by habi View Post

Have you not seen the probable case of Googles willfull infringement java that Oracle is pursuing?!?! Do you live in a box??? Every bit of android applications run on this so called java virtual machine which seems to be quite copied and reverse enginered from Sun/Oracle bytecode/binaries. Willfull infringement = triple damages. The evidence looks very good on Oracles behalf. And Googles alternatives seem quite desperate.

Exactly - the Oracle case is much more important to Google and the future of Android than any other lawsuits. It has a potential to totally stop Android from existing as a cost-effective smartphone platform for vendors.

And the evidence from the discovery phase makes Google look pretty bad.
post #36 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by habi View Post

Eg they would get that same advertising revenue without Android anyway so i dont see the point.

Would they?

http://www.fiercemobilecontent.com/s...cal/2011-09-14

How easily people forget what the landscape was like before Android took off.

Without Android, it could well have been Microsoft taking up to 50% of the smartphone market. And when that happened, Google would have been at the mercy of all the non-Microsoft entitites. RIM was MS-friendly. That left Symbian and Apple. Symbian was already going starting to lose towards iOS. And only Apple was marginally friendly towards Google. But then again, Apple would never allow Google's services and ad platforms to be that persistent on the iPhone. And any missteps (or should a more profitable opportunity present itself), Apple is the kind of company that would dump a partner in a heartbeat (and they'd just claim they did it for the sake of their users). Who in that environment would want to bet the entire future of their company on that kind of relationship? This is a company that insists on designing their own Maps app (renting Google's data) instead of letting Google put out their own Maps app. Search may be default. But then look at issues with Latitude and Voice. And going forward, how co-operative will Apple be on services like Google Wallet and Google Offers? Just as building its own OS allows Apple to control its own destiny, I can't really see how Google could have survived without building its own OS or having very exclusive partnerships (the kind that Apple would never agree to).

Not launching Android, and risking Microsoft coming to prominence (after all Apple is not going to pump out $200 smartphones) in the smartphone space could very easily have killed Google in the long run as the world moves towards mobile. Likewise, it's the very reason, MS is now trying desperately to up its game in the smartphone world, to the point where they are willing to pay billions to Nokia to adopt their OS, or to sue every Android OEM to try and force Android to become uncompetitive on cost. They are getting desperate because Google is now becoming the dominant service provider on the mobile web.
post #37 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by habi View Post

Have you not seen the probable case of Googles willfull infringement java that Oracle is pursuing?!?! Do you live in a box??? Every bit of android applications run on this so called java virtual machine which seems to be quite copied and reverse enginered from Sun/Oracle bytecode/binaries. Willfull infringement = triple damages. The evidence looks very good on Oracles behalf. And Googles alternatives seem quite desperate.

I'm not saying Google's going to win, but the idea that Oracle is going to have the kind of success with this suit that they intended from the start is clearly a flawed idea.

Read this:

http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?s...10907141407472 (it really is a worthwhile read if you have even a mild interest in programming)

It's quite easy to see that there clearly are holes in Oracle's logic. And that Google's apparent infringment (if there is any...innocent until proven guilty and all that) is not anywhere close to what Oracle suggested.

And now consider that Oracle refused to allow their witness to provide testimony that was publicly available. I wonder why.

I think there's a strong chance Oracle will win. But I don't foresee them getting billions as an award. And in the meanwhile, you can bet that Google is working overtime to overcome the infringing bits. I would not be surprised to see the whole VM re-written.
post #38 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetz View Post

Would they?

http://www.fiercemobilecontent.com/s...cal/2011-09-14

How easily people forget what the landscape was like before Android took off.

Without Android, it could well have been Microsoft taking up to 50% of the smartphone market. And when that happened, Google would have been at the mercy of all the non-Microsoft entitites. RIM was MS-friendly. That left Symbian and Apple. Symbian was already going starting to lose towards iOS. And only Apple was marginally friendly towards Google. But then again, Apple would never allow Google's services and ad platforms to be that persistent on the iPhone. And any missteps (or should a more profitable opportunity present itself), Apple is the kind of company that would dump a partner in a heartbeat (and they'd just claim they did it for the sake of their users). Who in that environment would want to bet the entire future of their company on that kind of relationship? This is a company that insists on designing their own Maps app (renting Google's data) instead of letting Google put out their own Maps app. Search may be default. But then look at issues with Latitude and Voice. And going forward, how co-operative will Apple be on services like Google Wallet and Google Offers? Just as building its own OS allows Apple to control its own destiny, I can't really see how Google could have survived without building its own OS or having very exclusive partnerships (the kind that Apple would never agree to).

Not launching Android, and risking Microsoft coming to prominence (after all Apple is not going to pump out $200 smartphones) in the smartphone space could very easily have killed Google in the long run as the world moves towards mobile. Likewise, it's the very reason, MS is now trying desperately to up its game in the smartphone world, to the point where they are willing to pay billions to Nokia to adopt their OS, or to sue every Android OEM to try and force Android to become uncompetitive on cost. They are getting desperate because Google is now becoming the dominant service provider on the mobile web.

great points, and you shed an interesting light on the fact that if any company is truly acting provably anti-competitive towards Android it is MS and not Apple.
post #39 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by AbsoluteDesignz View Post

great points, and you shed an interesting light on the fact that if any company is truly acting provably anti-competitive towards Android it is MS and not Apple.

Makes me sad to see two of my favourite tech companies (Apple and Google), whose products I use every day, go at it. And I dislike this idea that I have to choose between them.

I still think the real enemy here is MS. Their products suck. And the only way they can get anybody to use them is by compelling such use through lawsuits.

All those who say Bing is great must live in the USA. Bing sucks in the rest of the world. Heck, it sucks in Canada, and we're next door and speak the same language. There are features it just doesn't have. For example, no transit times on Bing Maps in Ottawa where I live. And that's the biggest thing preventing me from ever wanting to use a Windows Phone 7 handset: I'd have to default to Hotmail, Bing Search and Bing Maps. Who wants to take that over GMail, Google Search and Google Maps?

People keep wondering why WP7 isn't selling. My theory is that it's not WP7 (which is a terrific OS). It's what's supporting the functions on WP7: Bing. Personally, I'd take a WP7 handset anyday, if all the underlying defaults were Google's services.
post #40 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Have they been found in violation of several patents? I could find only one, having to do with the Linux kernal. Dunno. I assume you were implying Google "had been shown to violate other patents".

Owning unrelated IP isn't intended to protect you in court decisions in the first place. Purchasing/developing/owning valuable patents can instead move these disagreements out of the courts altogether and into negotiations, the normal flow.

It's not even really a patent fight as per my understanding (wrt Oracle). It's mostly about copyrights.
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