Google purchases IBM inventions as patent arms race looms

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Google announced on Thursday that it had acquired a group of patents from IBM, even as growing interest in intellectual property suggests a coming legal face-off between Apple and Google.



Bloomberg reports that Google struck a deal with IBM earlier this month to bolster its IP portfolio with a batch of patents. ?Like many tech companies, at times we?ll acquire patents that are relevant to our business,? the company said Thursday in an e-mailed statement.



The Mountain View, Calif., search giant has cast itself as a reluctant player in the patent market. ?The tech industry has a significant problem,? Kent Walker, who serves as general counsel for the company, said earlier this week. ?Software patents are kind of gumming up the works of innovation.?



The company is calling for large-scale patent reform, even as its Android mobile operating system faces infringement suits on at least six fronts. But, competitors assert that Google is critical of the patent system because it finds itself outmatched by larger, more established technology companies with bigger patent portfolios.



Google is said to be interested in acquiring InterDigital, a Pennsylvania-based company with patents related to high-speed mobile phone networks. Reports that Apple and Google may bid on the company drove its value up more than 50 percent to $3.2 billion earlier this week.



Photography pioneer Kodak has revealed that it is shopping its digital imaging patents around after seeing the high level of interest, and subsequent bidding, in the Nortel auction.



Late last month, Apple and six other companies, including Microsoft, Research in Motion and Sony, faced off against Google and Intel in a bidding war that drove up the price for Nortel's 6,000 patents to an unprecedented $4.5 billion.



Walker called the deal the "biggest patents sale in the history of the world," adding that his company is looking into "other opportunities" to expand its portfolio. Nortel's patents were said to be of high-value to Apple and Google because they contained vital inventions related to the 4G Long-Term Evolution wireless networking standard.



Google's interest in intellectual property may also have been piqued by a recent ITC ruling that found HTC had violated two of Apple's patents. Patent experts have suggested that the violations in question may be part of the Android architecture and could extend to "every Android device out there."



Meanwhile, Google executive Eric Schmidt has promised that his company will "make sure" that HTC does not lose its suit with Apple.



Walker has compared the current patent situation to a nuclear arms race that will eventually "settle into mutual assured destruction,? noting that ?these fights are an arduous and expensive way to do it."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 95
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,304member
    Just buy up a bunch of patents from the likes of IBM?



    This is a clue to me that Google does not have the expertise to keep up with Apple and knows it will lose the next bidding war with Apple gaining another treasure trove of patents.
  • Reply 2 of 95
    sheffsheff Posts: 1,407member
    Iamgine the domnance if google and apple did not part ways back in the day. Apples native apps coupled with google's web services would have produced an unstoppable device that would rule the world.



    Instead we have two highly innovative companies that suck in cohesiveness and cloudiness respectivelly. Now icloud and ics are supposed to fix that but that still remains to be seen.
  • Reply 3 of 95
    palegolaspalegolas Posts: 1,283member
    The first one to make their patents free for all to use will lead the revolution.
  • Reply 4 of 95
    There is no creativity in buying other people's ideas and suing anyone that infringes what they buy up.

    Its just wrong, there should be a law to stop this. Its simply a devil's way of working.
  • Reply 5 of 95
    patranuspatranus Posts: 366member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sheff View Post


    Iamgine the domnance if google and apple did not part ways back in the day. Apples native apps coupled with google's web services would have produced an unstoppable device that would rule the world.



    Instead we have two highly innovative companies that suck in cohesiveness and cloudiness respectivelly. Now icloud and ics are supposed to fix that but that still remains to be seen.



    Everyone keeps calling Google innovative.



    What exactly have they innovated since their page-rank patent?
  • Reply 6 of 95
    blursdblursd Posts: 123member
    Google is so full of it when they talk about patent reform and how it "inhibits" innovation. Just like how they've created this myth the Andriod OS is "open" when they guard that source code like it's a gold unicorn.
  • Reply 7 of 95
    Just put Larry Page in the ring with Steve Jobs and let 'em duke it out already!



    (I've heard tell that Steve's a ninja...)
  • Reply 8 of 95
    matrix07matrix07 Posts: 1,993member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Patranus View Post


    Everyone keeps calling Google innovative.



    What exactly have they innovated since their page-rank patent?



    Google TV.
  • Reply 9 of 95
    nairbnairb Posts: 253member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by moustache View Post


    There is no creativity in buying other people's ideas and suing anyone that infringes what they buy up.

    Its just wrong, there should be a law to stop this. Its simply a devil's way of working.





    You mean like buying a company that used pinch to zoom and then patenting it and trying to stop others from using it?
  • Reply 10 of 95
    irnchrizirnchriz Posts: 1,591member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    ?Software patents are kind of gumming up the works of innovation.?




    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.
  • Reply 11 of 95
    stelligentstelligent Posts: 2,680member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Patranus View Post


    Everyone keeps calling Google innovative.



    What exactly have they innovated since their page-rank patent?



    I have mentioned it before and gotten flak for it, but the truth is that, at a fundamental level, Google has been far more innovative than Apple. Anyone who says otherwise is arguing blindly and purely out of passion and completely ignoring the facts.
  • Reply 12 of 95
    stelligentstelligent Posts: 2,680member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post


    Just buy up a bunch of patents from the likes of IBM?



    This is a clue to me that Google does not have the expertise to keep up with Apple and knows it will lose the next bidding war with Apple gaining another treasure trove of patents.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by palegolas View Post


    The first one to make their patents free for all to use will lead the revolution.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by blursd View Post


    Google is so full of it when they talk about patent reform and how it "inhibits" innovation. Just like how they've created this myth the Andriod OS is "open" when they guard that source code like it's a gold unicorn.



    In threads covering the outcome of the Nortel patent auction, many people on this site blasted Google for not being serious about Android and for not trying hard enough to win those patents. Now they are being criticized for acquiring IP to protect Android. Larry Page must know how Obama feels - damned if you do ....



    And this is a clue that Google does not have enough expertise, then what clue did we get from Apple purchasing the Nortel patents, not to mention acquiring the company with the multitouch IP? Let's stick to the truth: both Google and Apple have their respective expertise.



    The fact is that this is akin to the nuclear buildup during the Cold War. As senseless as it sounds, you have to build up the offensive arsenal in order to play defence. In this war, however, building up the arsenal includes both in-house development and acquisitions. To do just one or the other is a dumb purist play and a disservice to the shareholders.
  • Reply 13 of 95
    sticknicksticknick Posts: 123member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by stelligent View Post


    In threads covering the outcome of the Nortel patent auction, many people on this site blasted Google for not being serious about Android and for not trying hard enough to win those patents. Now they are being criticized for acquiring IP to protect Android. Larry Page must know how Obama feels - damned if you do ....



    Google walked away from that auction empty handed and stated bashing Apple et all stating that those companies would rather buy patents than innovate. And Google kept this chirping up for a good few days at least; blowing their own horn saying how much better they were than those that beat them in the auction.



    NOW they go out and buy a bunch of patents from IBM and their song has changed?



    Google has some cool stuff out there but when they open their mouths they sound like Microsoft or Adobe: "wonk wonk wonk".



    Reluctant player, indeed. Google is only acting like a spoiled hippy who didn't win the Nortel patents.
  • Reply 14 of 95
    "Damn! All this stupid killing has to stop. Why can't people just put their guns down and talk about it. We need a world where no one is afraid of getting shot. Someone should get all these people to lay down their guns and get along", said the man as he loaded his gun.
  • Reply 15 of 95
    bilbo63bilbo63 Posts: 285member
    The really sad thing here is Eric Schmidt and Google thinks it's okay to rip-off other people's designs, and give them away for free as open source. In the end, they may just get away with it. (but don't dare give away their patented search algorithms as open source because that would be evil)



    I happen to think that open source is a good thing, BUT it's still not okay rip-off other people's work and give it away for free if they are not part of the open source project.



    I'm as sick of the looming patent war as anyone else, but we wouldn't even be in this mess if Google and the Android consortium didn't rip-off Apple's mobile OS.



    The other mobile phone companies got caught napping. Rather compete by innovating themselves, they instead followed Googles lead and ripped off Apple under the guise of "open source".
  • Reply 16 of 95
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,313member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by palegolas View Post


    The first one to make their patents free for all to use will lead the revolution.



    On what planet?
  • Reply 17 of 95
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,581member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by stelligent View Post


    I have mentioned it before and gotten flak for it, but the truth is that, at a fundamental level, Google has been far more innovative than Apple. Anyone who says otherwise is arguing blindly and purely out of passion and completely ignoring the facts.



    On the face of it, your assertion is nonsense, and, since you don't support it with any facts or arguments, you would seem to be the one, "arguing blindly and purely out of passion and completely ignoring the facts."
  • Reply 18 of 95
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,117member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by blursd View Post


    Google is so full of it when they talk about patent reform and how it "inhibits" innovation. Just like how they've created this myth the Andriod OS is "open" when they guard that source code like it's a gold unicorn.



    The latest Android phone source code, 2.3.3, is here. Feel free to use it.

    http://source.android.com/



    The Honeycomb build for tablets has only had certain sections (GPL and LGPL) released so far. And there's no guarantee's that the entire Honeycomb build will ever be released as open source. But there's also no claims from the developer's that it won't be either.
  • Reply 19 of 95
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,373member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Patranus View Post


    Everyone keeps calling Google innovative.



    What exactly have they innovated since their page-rank patent?



    I agree but don't forget their 'How to place mole on a leading tech company's board of directors so as to be able to enter all the fields they are in'. That was pretty innovative
  • Reply 20 of 95
    stelligentstelligent Posts: 2,680member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post


    On the face of it, your assertion is nonsense, and, since you don't support it with any facts or arguments, you would seem to be the one, "arguing blindly and purely out of passion and completely ignoring the facts."



    I am ignoring the facts? I am sorry you are not aware of Google's innovations; I had expected a higher level of knowledge here since everyone writes with such condescension and derision (after all, arrogance is only tolerable if backed by real knowledge). At a high level, they have changed search, advertising and email with the same impact as iPhone and iPod in their respective categories. But it is really at a fundamental level that they have surpassed most companies (and I am speaking historically), consider what they have invented in database design, distributed computing, pattern recognition and computer science in general. I suggest you look up all of this yourself before criticizing one of the most inventive companies in history. Apple has never, ever innovated at this level. Instead, they have been very clever and inventive in industrial design, integration and UI design. All of this is important, but it is simply not moving computer science forward in the same fundamental way Google has done. This is not because Apple is not capable of it; it's simply not their business model.
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