Google purchases IBM inventions as patent arms race looms

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Comments

  • Reply 81 of 95
    bsgincbsginc Posts: 78member
    Ok..so there is obviously no consensus on who is the more innovative. It is clear that both do innovate. But who is more innovative ...meh.



    Perhaps the answer is in how many true, original patents were developed by Google and how many by Apple. Not bought. Not owned. But, developed? Does anyone know?
  • Reply 82 of 95
    stelligentstelligent Posts: 2,680member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Hiro View Post


    Wow. I'm overcome by your lucid and amazing display of logic...



    And yes, companies/suppodedly-bright-people make boneheaded decisions all the time, history is absolutely littered with them.



    True that, in a general sense; however, for your sake, you are simply taking a statement out of context to take a shot, and do not actually believe Google's lawyers and engineers cannot figure out whether they are buying valuable or useless patents from IBM. If you want to keep arguing that is what happened, enjoy yourself. Enjoy yourself too, if you can easily amuse yourself by tossing a few trolls here and there.
  • Reply 83 of 95
    stelligentstelligent Posts: 2,680member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by island hermit View Post


    You are now on my ignore list. Bye bye..



    Later, sweetie. <3
  • Reply 84 of 95
    cloudgazercloudgazer Posts: 2,161member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Bsginc View Post


    Ok..so there is obviously no consensus on who is the more innovative. It is clear that both do innovate. But who is more innovative ...meh.



    Perhaps the answer is in how many true, original patents were developed by Google and how many by Apple. Not bought. Not owned. But, developed? Does anyone know?



    Do you really want to make raw patent numbers the measure of innovation? By that measure Samsung is a giant. But sure, if you wish to use that metric, then there's no doubt that Apple filed for more patents than Google.
  • Reply 85 of 95
    stelligentstelligent Posts: 2,680member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post


    Do you really want to make raw patent numbers the measure of innovation? By that measure Samsung is a giant. But sure, if you wish to use that metric, then there's no doubt that Apple filed for more patents than Google.



    Can we be sure about that? Google is known for not including company affiliation in the their patent filings, with the patent assigned to Google only after issuance. Ergo, it is not at all straight forward to identify or count Google patent applications.
  • Reply 86 of 95
    cloudgazercloudgazer Posts: 2,161member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by stelligent View Post


    Can we be sure about that? Google is known for not including company affiliation in the their patent filings, with the patent assigned to Google only after issuance. Ergo, it is not at all straight forward to identify or count Google patent applications.



    I'm just going off a search of all patents assigned to the two firms. Google has something like 700 assigned to them, Apple something like 4000. Apple has bought some patents in the past but not 75% of them. These are patents that have been issued, in the last 20 years.



    But as I said, raw patent numbers are a really really bad metric for innovation. It's like measuring great chefs by how many times they cooked breakfast.



    For comparison:



    Samsung : ~ 44,000

    IBM: ~ 58,000

    Hewlett Packard: 22,000

    Intel: 20,000
  • Reply 87 of 95
    stelligentstelligent Posts: 2,680member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post


    I'm just going off a search of all patents assigned to the two firms. Google has something like 700 assigned to them, Apple something like 4000. Apple has bought some patents in the past but not 75% of them. These are patents that have been issued, in the last 20 years.



    But as I said, raw patent numbers are a really really bad metric for innovation. It's like measuring great chefs by how many times they cooked breakfast.



    The patent application process is much more painful than cooking breakfast. How do you like 'em eggs?
  • Reply 88 of 95
    hirohiro Posts: 2,663member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by stelligent View Post


    True that, in a general sense; however, for your sake, you are simply taking a statement out of context to take a shot, and do not actually believe Google's lawyers and engineers cannot figure out whether they are buying valuable or useless patents from IBM. If you want to keep arguing that is what happened, enjoy yourself. Enjoy yourself too, if you can easily amuse yourself by tossing a few trolls here and there.



    I can fully believe it. They are desperate, especially since legal let them do Android without the proper licenses. Google has shown amazing poor judgement in the IP arena over the past couple years. Smoking gun emails show the lack of forethought that Google has when it comes to IP. Anyone who cannot see that as a glaring and pervasive weakness should ask about purchasing some land I have a little east of of Miami.
  • Reply 89 of 95
    hirohiro Posts: 2,663member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by stelligent View Post


    The patent application process is much more painful than cooking breakfast. How do you like 'em eggs?



    That's why you hire IP attorneys. And when the engineers realize their paycheck potential goes up with each filed patent, they tend to lose the fear of the pain.
  • Reply 90 of 95
    harbingerharbinger Posts: 570member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Hiro View Post


    That's why you hire IP attorneys. And when the engineers realize their paycheck potential goes up with each filed patent, they tend to lose the fear of the pain.



    Actually, most engineers would find that at least 50% of the pain comes from working with IP lawyers. They turn your invention from a well thought-out idea solving a specific problem to something so broad that, by the time they are finished (after grilling you extensively and making you read the protracted disclosure again and again), you do not recognize your invention anymore.



    In many technology companies, you do not get a bonus or raise specifically for patent filings. This is common in order to avoid employees making specious claims.
  • Reply 91 of 95
    harbingerharbinger Posts: 570member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Hiro View Post


    I can fully believe it. They are desperate, especially since legal let them do Android without the proper licenses. Google has shown amazing poor judgement in the IP arena over the past couple years. Smoking gun emails show the lack of forethought that Google has when it comes to IP. Anyone who cannot see that as a glaring and pervasive weakness should ask about purchasing some land I have a little east of of Miami.



    I agree that Google has tripped up and underestimated the significance of IP in their Android strategy. But I disagree about the significance of "smoking gun emails". Furthermore, regardless of how desperate, they would simply spend money on >1000 patents without understanding what they represent. The most important thing about these patents would be whether Oracle already has a license from IBM for them. If so, then their value to Google would be reduced. That's an easy step in the due diligence of the transaction. I doubt Google would not have been careful. We are talking about 1000 patents, not just one or two.
  • Reply 92 of 95
    hirohiro Posts: 2,663member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Harbinger View Post


    Actually, most engineers would find that at least 50% of the pain comes from working with IP lawyers. They turn your invention from a well thought-out idea solving a specific problem to something so broad that, by the time they are finished (after grilling you extensively and making you read the protracted disclosure again and again), you do not recognize your invention anymore.



    No argument there, but a patent isn't an invention it is a legal IP document described in legalese for the courts. The street-smart engineers understand that and don't rail against the language or have significant issues with it. It's just business.



    Quote:

    In many technology companies, you do not get a bonus or raise specifically for patent filings. This is common in order to avoid employees making specious claims.



    And in many they do, but more importantly when the engineers inevitably move from company to company, having the patents on file raises their salary ceiling nicely. It also provides a nice way for management to identify the Chinese Wall's for the employees existing product knowledge which can't be legally used in the new company. Reducing that uncertainty can be worth a lot of future legal $$ if it helps avoid an IP/Trade Secrets case.
  • Reply 93 of 95
    hirohiro Posts: 2,663member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Harbinger View Post


    I agree that Google has tripped up and underestimated the significance of IP in their Android strategy. But I disagree about the significance of "smoking gun emails". Furthermore, regardless of how desperate, they would simply spend money on >1000 patents without understanding what they represent. The most important thing about these patents would be whether Oracle already has a license from IBM for them. If so, then their value to Google would be reduced. That's an easy step in the due diligence of the transaction. I doubt Google would not have been careful. We are talking about 1000 patents, not just one or two.



    I doubt the bold part will be found to be true. If it was Oracle would not be blocking the largely IBM funded Apache Foundation Harmony Project based on Sun/Oracle IP. Googles Dalvik JVM is derived significantly from old Harmony code. Files associated with Harmony, at the Oracle case start, still have Sun copyright, license and IP comment block headings. Lawyers and experts will eventually argue about how important or irrelevant each of those files are, but they are there.



    Harmony didn't go widespread precisely because Sun/Oracle never released the necessary IP into public domain. That made the work IBM/Apache invested in Harmony close to worthless and Apache resigned from the JCP advisory board because they claimed the lack of IP release proved Oracles stance was not "Open" enough. If IBM had patents to counter Sun/Oracle they would have used them 3-5 years ago so they could have used their Harmony JVM without having to pay steep license fees on the contained IP.
  • Reply 94 of 95
    xsuxsu Posts: 401member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by irnchriz View Post


    That means that your 'innovations' are using technology and ideas which already exist, in which case you should pay to license these.



    Of course, a more sensible thing to do would be to reduce the length of time a patent is valid for or to judge whether a patent could be used to block competition in which case it would be subject to capped licensing fees and HAS to be made available to all via these fees.





    A more sensible thing to do is to limit scope of patent applications by making applicant spell out exactly how their patent will be used in the scope they think it will be used. Anything not stated by the applicant is obviously not something envisioned by the applicant, thus should not be covered by the patent.
  • Reply 95 of 95
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,102member
    There's an article I had missed reading over at PatentlyO that goes into a bit more detail on what Google actually purchased in IBM IP, as well as a view on why. The author opines that much of it was purchased with Apple specifically in mind.



    "A review of the patents suggests that they were carefully chosen from among IBM's tens of thousands of patents in order to be most effective in a patent fight against the other technology giants. . .

    Nonetheless, the patents appear to have been chosen for one adversary in particular – Apple."



    "There are several characteristics of these patents that each suggest a defensive intent by Google, and together as a whole, they paint a very clear picture of what Google is trying to do. . .



    There appears to have been a concerted effort to choose patents with substantial life remaining in order to provide long term protection. The earliest expiration date is in late 2012 (U.S. Pat. 5,751,286) and the average patent term ends in July of 2022. The patent term distribution is actually skewed towards the longer terms with a quarter of the set expiring in 2025.



    The preference for long term patents does not appear to have come at the expense of quality. Generally, the patents appear to be strong, covering topics that would be difficult to work around, and having priority dates that are at least sufficiently early so as not to be obviously invalid.



    These generalized characteristics can suggest an intent on the part of Google, but the most telling aspect is the patents themselves. I estimate that three quarters could be asserted against an Apple product. All major Apple products are targeted. Moreover, the potential accused aspects are sufficiently innate to the various products that it would be challenging to design around the patents. "



    The entire article can be viewed here:

    http://www.patentlyo.com/patent/2011...n-apple-1.html



    In the followup remarks there's mention that there's no evidence of Apple having any cross-license agreements with IBM, a good indication that Apple has not received any previous rights to the use of any of the IP Google has purchased from them.
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