Google boosts mobile with 200 patents from IBM

06/01/2012

Google has acquired over 200 mobile-related patents and patent applications from IBM, as it looks to press further into the mobile device market while shielding itself from litigation from rivals such as Apple. Google acquired 187 patents and 36 patent applications from IBM at the end of December, according to U.S. Patent and Trademark Office records. The acquisition comes after Google purchased more than 1,000 patents from IBM last summer.

Patents included in the most recent transaction, recorded at the patent office Dec. 30, include those related to wireless phone systems, a "method for deleting related messages," and a method for modifying the display of websites on mobile devices.

A Google spokesman confirmed the transaction, but declined further comment. An IBM spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Like other large technology firms, Google is frequently targeted with patent-infringement lawsuits. But Google has only relatively recently bolstered efforts to obtain substantial intellectual property in order to shield itself from potential infringement suits.

In August, Google announced it would buy Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. for $12.5 billion, a move that would net Google thousands of additional patents.

The purchase is currently being reviewed by antitrust regulators in the U.S. and Europe.

Google had earlier complained that companies including Microsoft and Apple were unfairly seeking to undercut the success of Google's Android mobile phone software by targeting it with patent suits.

IBM has long been in the business of obtaining significant numbers of patents.

The company ranked first among recipients of U.S. patents in 2010 with 5,896, according to IFI CLAIMS Patent Services.

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