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


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.”