February 26, 2021

DealBook: In Battle for Patents, Google Buys a Batch From I.B.M.

Google's headquarters in Mountain View, Calif.Tony Avelar/Bloomberg NewsGoogle’s headquarters in Mountain View, Calif.

In the heated battle for technology patents, Google is using its checkbook to bulk up.

The technology giant bought more than a thousand patents from I.B.M. this month, for a broad range of applications. In an e-mailed statement, Google confirmed the purchase: “Like many tech companies, at times we’ll acquire patents that are relevant to our business needs. Bad software patent litigation is a wasteful war that no one will win.”

The purchase was earlier reported by SEO by the Sea blog.

The deal comes less than one month after Google failed to win a cache of more than 6,000 patents from telecommunications equipment maker Nortel Networks. The company lost out to a consortium of competitors that included Apple and Microsoft, which paid $4.5 billion in cash for the lot — well above Google’s initial bid of $900 million. Google pursuit of patents is largely seen as a defensive maneuver, to deter lawsuits from rivals.

In a blog post in April, Google’s general counsel, Kent Walker, wrote, “a company’s best defenses against this kind of litigation is (ironically) to have a formidable patent portfolio, as this helps maintain your freedom to develop new products and services. Google is a relatively young company, and although we have a growing number of patents, many of our competitors have larger portfolios given their longer histories.”

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=134d00a804c585396e7ea40c75a18b05

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