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Google Buys IBM Patents

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the something-borrowed-something-blue dept.

Google 72

pbahra writes "Google said Friday that it has purchased technology patents from IBM as the Web-search giant stocks up on intellectual property to defend itself against lawsuits. 'Like many tech companies, at times we'll acquire patents that are relevant to our business,' a Google spokesman said in a statement. The purchase was reported earlier by the blog SEO by the Sea, which said Google in mid-July recorded the acquisition of more than 1,000 patents with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The patents involve the 'fabrication and architecture of memory and microprocessing chips,' computer architecture including servers and routers and online search engines, among other things. The Google spokesman declined to comment on the purchase price. It wasn't immediately clear which of the patents might be useful to Google to shield against lawsuits."

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It can be useful ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36920744)

on a crusade about the common enemy: Oracle

Re:It can be useful ... (1)

cjcela (1539859) | more than 3 years ago | (#36921420)

.. or Apple.

Re:It can be useful ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36941532)

Don't forget Microsoft. They are also attacking Android.

TEH GOOGLE BE THE MAN !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36920754)

Teh Google !! Yeah !!

Build custom Google chips??? (4, Interesting)

madhatter256 (443326) | more than 3 years ago | (#36920792)

Since some of the patents involve fabrication.... does google plan on building their own chips and not fully rely on other chip manufacturers for their hardware?

Re:Build custom Google chips??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36920820)

No, they're positioning themselves to fight Apple.

Re:Build custom Google chips??? (1)

JamesP (688957) | more than 3 years ago | (#36920824)

I think this is meant against Apple OR maybe Sun/Oracle.

3rd option would be against XBOX

Re:Build custom Google chips??? (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#36921826)

Or against anyone who builds devices with "memory and microprocessing chips". Not a lot of those things around though.

Re:Build custom Google chips??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36920850)

Or to defend against a certain Oracle who's acquired a lot of hardware and chip technology (and seems to be wanting to use it to build custom hardware for the DB business) from the Sun acquisition...

Re:Build custom Google chips??? (1)

JoeBuck (7947) | more than 3 years ago | (#36921074)

Possibly they think that Apple (who's making lots of chips these days) may be infringing those patents, so it would be something to countersue with if Apple attacks Android.

Re:Build custom Google chips??? (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 3 years ago | (#36921216)

Google has never countersued anyone regarding patents, and has made it clear they will not do so.

This will never happen, not from apple or google.

Re:Build custom Google chips??? (2)

WelshRarebit (1595637) | more than 3 years ago | (#36921550)

Then why did they just spend so much money (potentially billions of dollars) purchasing these patents?

Re:Build custom Google chips??? (1)

trum4n (982031) | more than 3 years ago | (#36921678)

To use them..... Not everybody is a ****ing troll.

Re:Build custom Google chips??? (2)

Thantik (1207112) | more than 3 years ago | (#36923852)

Countersuing IS using them. Countersuing is a defensive move and has nothing to do with patent trolling, troll.

Re:Build custom Google chips??? (1)

trum4n (982031) | more than 3 years ago | (#36924022)

I ment production. Like actually making something that benefits our lives and country. I'm sure the economy would be better if somebody tried this technique of making money.

Re:Build custom Google chips??? (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 3 years ago | (#36924336)

And? Your focus has nothing to do with what we're talking about. You're arguing a hypothetical (countersuing) based on a second hypothetical (that google will even countersue) . This is so asinine it hurts me to read such a backwards statement. Then you flip it again, saying that countersuing is defensive, and guess what? It could or couldn't be, depending on how it's done.

If I sue you for a misdemeanor but you countersue pushing for a felony is that exactly defensive? No.

Re:Build custom Google chips??? (1)

node 3 (115640) | more than 3 years ago | (#36926972)

Possibly they think that Apple (who's making lots of chips these days) may be infringing those patents, so it would be something to countersue with if Apple attacks Android.

Just to clarify some context here, because of how Slashdot feels towards software patents, patent trolls, Google, and Apple:

- Apple has only ever initiated suits against companies infringing on patents that Apple actually invented and uses. They aren't patent trolls.
- Earlier this month, Google criticized Apple for buying the Nortel patents, saying they would litigate instead of innovate. Ignored in this is the fact that Google also bid on the patents, and now Google has purchased some other patents.

I don't think Google is going to use these patents offensively, but they damned well may use them defensively.

Re:Build custom Google chips??? (1)

trum4n (982031) | more than 3 years ago | (#36921672)

Maybe someone will build a GOOD android phone, when its designed by the people with the vision in their heads. I feel like every android phone has a massive flaw, maybe google can fix that.

Re:Build custom Google chips??? (2)

Jonner (189691) | more than 3 years ago | (#36923844)

Google is saying the purpose of obtaining patents such as these is so they have more defense against patent attacks. I think that's probably true at the moment. What I wonder is how long it will take Google to amass enough of an arsenal to decide they can be a patent bully like Apple, Oracle, Microsoft and many others. In any case, these patents are nothing more than corporate weapons and doing nothing to promote innovation.

Re:Build custom Google chips??? (1)

bryanbuckley (1989454) | more than 3 years ago | (#36934036)

Big rumors on a few websites that TI is selling off their OMAP division... Perhaps Google is looking at that?

Google vs Oracle (3, Interesting)

auLucifer (1371577) | more than 3 years ago | (#36920818)

Oracle/Sun hardware? Say hello to Google!

Re:Google vs Oracle (2)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 3 years ago | (#36924848)

Oracle/Sun hardware? Say hello to Google!

I think Oracle would sooner can SPARC than not get a distributed database patents cross-licensing deal with Google. Java is just a club to beat Google over the head with.

Thwack.

Re:Google vs Oracle (1)

lsatenstein (949458) | more than 3 years ago | (#36932906)

It might be that Google sues SUN for violating one or more of their hardware patents. That is a tit-for-tat approach to Oracle who is sueing Google for Java extensions.

From innovation to consolidation (2)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 3 years ago | (#36920888)

Companies are against software patents when they start up, because they use innovation instead.

When they run out of steam to innovate, they begin to consolidate.

Is this Google running out of steam and buying into the big company software patent detente?

Re:From innovation to consolidation (2)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#36920978)

I can't answer that specifically,; however companies do nede to protect themselves and that seems to be the case ehre.
Of course when they are larger they by patents, because that is when they ahve the money to do it.

By your logic, IBM would have stopped innovating 30 years ago.

Re:From innovation to consolidation (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36921258)

By your logic, IBM would have stopped innovating 30 years ago.

Inconceivable!

Re:From innovation to consolidation (0)

Jonner (189691) | more than 3 years ago | (#36924030)

I can't answer that specifically,; however companies do nede to protect themselves and that seems to be the case ehre.
Of course when they are larger they by patents, because that is when they ahve the money to do it.

By your logic, IBM would have stopped innovating 30 years ago.

Yeah, IBM is certainly innovating at a similar rate to Google.

Re:From innovation to consolidation (2)

Unequivocal (155957) | more than 3 years ago | (#36924578)

In the retail market and from a net revenue perspective, you've got a point, but I do want to point out that it's Google buying a *thousand* patents from IBM and not the other way around..

Re:From innovation to consolidation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36935710)

Dude, I work for Google and still I think IBM is one of the most innovative companies in existence.

They do great work on fundamental electronics. Modern hard drive densities might not exist without IBM. They're working on transistors using different materials to get past the impending physical limits of silicon. One example:
    http://www.engadget.com/2011/04/08/ibm-shows-off-155ghz-graphene-transistor-in-the-name-of-darpa-re/ [engadget.com]

With various companies patenting 1-click interactions and UI elements, Google unfortunately needs to play in that game to protect itself. That doesn't diminish the quality work that IBM is doing however.

Re:From innovation to consolidation (2)

fast turtle (1118037) | more than 3 years ago | (#36920984)

It sounds like most of the patents Google bought are Hardware Patents - IE Physical products instead of Imaginary Products such as Software Algorthyms

Re:From innovation to consolidation (1)

Jonner (189691) | more than 3 years ago | (#36924052)

It sounds like most of the patents Google bought are Hardware Patents - IE Physical products instead of Imaginary Products such as Software Algorthyms

Do you have a count? I didn't see any enumeration of the patents in the transaction. Unfortunately, that will probably never be public knowledge.

Re:From innovation to consolidation (2)

s4ndm4n (1361751) | more than 3 years ago | (#36920992)

I don't think so at all. I think this is Google playing it smart and getting in position to make some big moves, although I can't in any way speculate on what, I'm no tech expert. But that being said, based on their latest stuff, they haven't stopped running out of ides.

Re:From innovation to consolidation (1)

Jonner (189691) | more than 3 years ago | (#36924180)

I don't think so at all. I think this is Google playing it smart and getting in position to make some big moves, although I can't in any way speculate on what, I'm no tech expert. But that being said, based on their latest stuff, they haven't stopped running out of ides.

You don't have to run out of ideas to become a patent troll. Microsoft has a research division which seems to come up with all kinds of interesting stuff, most of which never sees the light of day. Though they invent far less than they claim, Apple certainly has some good new ideas of their own. Patent trolling is simply more profitable than innovating in many cases. As Google isn't run by idiots and has a responsibility to provide the most value for their shareholders, they will eventually find themselves in a position where they must use patents offensively if the system isn't fixed to remove the incentive for abuse.

Re:From innovation to consolidation (1)

s4ndm4n (1361751) | more than 3 years ago | (#36924738)

Sounds like a good argument form my un-trained perspective. I'm cautious of all the big companies as they grow more powerful, regarding what they'll do with things such as patents. I'm certainly less wary of Google than the others though...

Re:From innovation to consolidation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36921012)

You offer a false choice. Buying into the big company software patent detente doesn't require that Google be running out of steam.

Without a large portfolio of patents, detente doesn't apply, so Google is a viable target for lawsuits. I suggest this is happening now and may continue to happen.

By building up their portfolio of patents, Google makes themselves a less attractive target. Or so the theory behind detente goes.

The day that Google starts initiating patent infringement lawsuits against competitors, either would-be or defacto, is the day Google ceases to 'do no evil.'

Peace.

Re:From innovation to consolidation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36921048)

I think it's mostly replicating the move Oracle pulled with Java... now google buys patents from IBM that prolly over large chunks of what oracle has been upto (maybe even database related patents... after all, IBM was the one that started this whole relational database thing). Between IBM (owning Netezza), and google owning map-reduce and now some network architecture patents, I'd imagine Oracle would find it hard to get ahead in parallel database product space without making nice with IBM and Google.

Might just explain why Oracle hasn't actually made a parallel database worth buying yet.

Re:From innovation to consolidation (4, Insightful)

oGMo (379) | more than 3 years ago | (#36921260)

When they run out of steam to innovate, they begin to consolidate.

I think the real sign they run out of innovation is they begin to sue people or businesses for "using their ideas" rather than moving on to new ones. Call be back when Google starts doing this.

Re:From innovation to consolidation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36921336)

What's the mean for Apple?

Re:From innovation to consolidation (1)

samkass (174571) | more than 3 years ago | (#36921548)

The obvious counter-example to this is Apple. They are suing Samsung for making near-exact replicas of many Apple inventions without the expenditure of any R&D or in fact bringing anything new into the world... yet they still subsequently created the iPad that's become a new multi-billion dollar industry in less than 2 years. Obviously they are still rapidly innovating. It's not an either-or thing.

Re:From innovation to consolidation (2)

oGMo (379) | more than 3 years ago | (#36921806)

Contrarily, I think Apple is a perfect example. They were innovating at least as much as Google. (If you call "making slightly better webapps than everyone else for ad revenue" innovative, then "making shiny mp3 players, smart phones, and tablets with mass appeal" can be innovative, too. Let's not belabor the definition.)

However, lately it seems, possibly due to a shortage of Steve, things may be going less well. Iteratively new stuff, but nothing really new, and there seems to be a "dumbing down" trend. Final Cut X is a joke by all accounts. Lion seems to be going in the "your desktop is the biggest iPhone" direction. Lion Server seems to have lost its tools and its appeal. The iPhone 4 may be the "perfect iPhone" with a great screen and video chat, and everyone wants the iPhone 5, but what is the 5 really going to have?

Is Apple really suing over lost sales or brand dilution because of "near-exact replicas"? Or do they just not have anything else to fall back on? Do they have a next idea to move on to? These should be last years, out-of-style designs, if they're really innovating. It is not obvious that Apple is rapidly innovating, or innovating at all.

Re:From innovation to consolidation (1)

node 3 (115640) | more than 3 years ago | (#36927174)

Are you serious? Have you seen the new products from the past year? iPhone 4, iOS 5, Lion, the new MacBook Airs from October, the upcoming iPhone 5, iPad 2, iCloud...

(hint: innovation does not mean coming out with completely new products every year.)

Apple is on an innovation streak. And they've *always* held the position that they have their own look, feel, and inventions, and that they think others should come up with their own.

Is Apple really suing over lost sales or brand dilution because of "near-exact replicas"? Or do they just not have anything else to fall back on? Do they have a next idea to move on to? These should be last years, out-of-style designs, if they're really innovating.

There are certain design features that are iconic to Apple. The Apple's current iPod classic is still very much recognizable as based on the original classic iPod from 2001. Even the iPod nano, until a year ago, fit this description. All of the unibody aluminum MacBooks have a shared design, the iMacs have a shared design since the G5 iMac and before with the Cinema Display.

And the lawsuit in question, the front of the iPhone has remained mostly unchanged since 2007. Samsung's phones (the ones in question) and their tablets, bear a striking resemblance to the iPhone and iPad. There are countless ways to design a phone and a tablet, which is readily apparent by simply looking at all the diverse models out there. *ALL* that Apple ever has asked is that Samsung come up with their own, and not so closely ape Apple's design.

Re:From innovation to consolidation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36929834)

At the time Google is the one being sued by other companies. My guess is that they did this to protect themselves against patent trolls, so they have something to fight back with.

Re:From innovation to consolidation (1)

Riceballsan (816702) | more than 3 years ago | (#36921408)

I disagree so far Google hasn't been placing lawsuits at all, every time they come up with an idea they wind up infringing on 5+ patents because that is the way patents currently work. Innovation is irrelevant, some patent somewhere is broad enough to encompass your idea, whether or not anyone has done or even thought about doing what you have done before or not. The only protection from that is to stand back and say "oh yeah well I already have a patent for it as well". Correct me if I'm wrong but can you point to a situation where Google used it's patents offensively? Googling the phrase Google sues over patents gets a response "Did you mean "google sued over patents", and the only results that aren't google getting sued by someone, are Google suing the us govt over them not granting apps a fair shot. Now to avoid bias I also did the same search on bing and got the same results. The fact is in the current tech world, if you don't have the patents, then you will not be allowed to innovate. Patent trolls win 40% of the time with completely bogus claims, Large companies with heavy patent offense capabilities (Apple, Microsoft, the entire cellphone industry etc...) win most of the time.

Re:From innovation to consolidation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36935774)

http://en.swpat.org/wiki/Google#By_Google
0 patent suits filed offensively.

Re:From innovation to consolidation (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 3 years ago | (#36921568)

are non sequiturs stupid? this next, demonstrated by David Gerard.

Google doesn't sue with patents or consolidate. Could any company run out of steam? yes. Doesn't say much for google that has anything to do with a: these patents and article or b: what google is doing in general.

Re:From innovation to consolidation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36923790)

Companies are against software patents when they start up, because they use innovation instead.

When they run out of steam to innovate, they begin to consolidate.

Is this Google running out of steam and buying into the big company software patent detente?

No! It's Google protecting themselves from companies like Apple.

Re:From innovation to consolidation (1)

node 3 (115640) | more than 3 years ago | (#36927422)

Companies are against software patents when they start up, because they use innovation instead.

When they run out of steam to innovate, they begin to consolidate.

Is this Google running out of steam and buying into the big company software patent detente?

No! It's Google protecting themselves from companies like Apple.

The Apple that only sues people who copy Apple's designs or inventions, and only has two lawsuits they've initiated on this topic? So what you're saying is that Google is defending themselves from actual innovators by buying up the innovations of others? Because if your stated reason is correct, that's exactly what's happening.

However, I'm not really convinced your reason is correct.

Besides, the best defense here is to innovate themselves. What innovation has Google brought with Android? They bought an OS that was a Blackberry clone, turned it into an iPhone clone after the iPhone was announced, an OS that was built upon a modified Linux kernel and based on the Java programming language.

Maybe, had Google had the talent to design their own OS, like Apple, MS, and Palm had done, they would have had some patentable ideas of their own, which would have protected them. Instead, they just copied everyone else, and are crying, "hey, don't sue us, we're *innovating*!" (which is someone interesting, given that none of these major suits, other than Oracle's, is targeting Google directly)

Google is the fourth-largest maker of servers (4, Informative)

burleywinz (1247404) | more than 3 years ago | (#36920964)

I learned this about a month ago and was a little stunned by it. http://www.zoliblog.com/2006/07/02/google-is-the-worlds-fourth-largest-server-manufacturer/ [zoliblog.com]

Re:Google is the fourth-largest maker of servers (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 3 years ago | (#36921592)

Interesting. But are they the fourth-largest seller of servers? Unlike Dell, HP, and IBM, they actually use absolutely massive amounts of servers, and they realized quite some time ago that making them themselves was cheaper than buying them from others. Can you even buy a Google server box? Data storage, certainly, but not the physical hardware.

And now with Google funding fiber projects, we might see a point in the future when you are requesting data from Google on Google-built servers over Google fiber. Makes sense for Google, and as long as they don't become an actual monopoly, doesn't seem too bad for users either. A little scary, still.

Re:Google is the fourth-largest maker of servers (1)

Bengie (1121981) | more than 3 years ago | (#36922854)

I saw a box , that was shaped like a blade server, get delivered to my work a few weeks back and it had a Google logo printed on the box. Not a sticker, actually printed on the box.

I couldn't find anyone in my area that knew what it was.

Re:Google is the fourth-largest maker of servers (1)

lemonfresh33 (1367367) | more than 3 years ago | (#36923214)

one of these... http://neil.fraser.name/news/2008/09/13/ [fraser.name]

Re:Google is the fourth-largest maker of servers (2)

openfrog (897716) | more than 3 years ago | (#36924850)

Thanks for the link, which leads to the blog of a Google Engineer ...Perusing... MY!!!! Look at what Google employee's do in their free time:

http://neil.fraser.name/news/2011/04/28/ [fraser.name]

Admirable.

The new arms race (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36920982)

Google has no interest in the ideas these patents offer, they're just adding to their patent horde that keeps the patent Trolls off their backs. If my patent arsenal is bigger than your patent arsenal, you can't sue me as easily.

These are dark days...

Re:The new arms race (1)

anagama (611277) | more than 3 years ago | (#36921462)

Patent hoards as protection works between companies that actually make something because of the concept of mutually assured destruction.

Patent hoards do not protect against the true patent troll because the PT has no product, no business, no customers -- just an empty office in the Eastern District of TX and a lawyer in NY City. If the patent troll loses the case, they lose the money invested in that case, but their business (suing innovators) is unharmed and unhindered.

This American Life has a really nice show on the Patent Troll: http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/441/when-patents-attack [thisamericanlife.org]

Time to short InterDigital then? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36921068)

They were supposed to be buying out IDCC....

Patent on Buying Patents (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36921082)

Someone needs to file a patent on the method of buying patents from other companies. Cue black hole in 3...2...

Re:Patent on Buying Patents (1)

kakyoin01 (2040114) | more than 3 years ago | (#36921468)

Someone needs to file a patent on the method of buying patents from other companies. Cue black hole in 3...2...

Cue Microsoft in 3...2...

At least... (1)

kakyoin01 (2040114) | more than 3 years ago | (#36921440)

At least Google is dutifully purchasing the rights to some things for now, instead of contesting or blatantly ignoring them and fighting lawsuit upon lawsuit ("Dalvik isn't Java! We swear!"). Time will tell if this does not lead to more possible "evil" in Google or not.

Re:At least... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36921646)

Sorry, but Google, like all the other big companies, is already evil. You just haven't realized it yet. Look at the recent fiasco involving looking people out of their Google accounts for daring to use a pseudonym or having a name that a computer thinks isn't genuine. All of Google's endeavors over the past few years haven't been about advancing search, but developing products that can be used to collect more personal information about you that can be used to get more money from advertisers.

They might not act in the same ways that makes companies like Microsoft or Apple evil, but they're certainly not your friend.

Re:At least... (1)

walshy007 (906710) | more than 3 years ago | (#36922876)

"We provide you services in exchange for trying to put you into a demographic based from your information" - how can this be described as evil? Seems like a typical business transaction to me.

Re:At least... (1)

kakyoin01 (2040114) | more than 3 years ago | (#36923620)

Sorry, but Google, like all the other big companies, is already evil. You just haven't realized it yet.

Someone didn't read all of what I wrote. "More possible evil" means that I don't think Google is completely innocent. Not to mention that no doubt I'm biased; I trust Google enough to provide them with my information. Everyone has their opinion as to whom is the lesser evil.

"memory and microprocessing chips" (1)

IGnatius T Foobar (4328) | more than 3 years ago | (#36921852)

The patents cover "fabrication and architecture of memory and microprocessing chips."

Hmm.

Google isn't in those businesses, but these patents sound like they are likely to be violated by ... say ... Oracle?

Mutual Assured Destruction would make that pesky lawsuit go away quickly.

Re:"memory and microprocessing chips" (1)

lennier1 (264730) | more than 3 years ago | (#36922496)

That's only one possible use.

Google already has manufacturers build hardware to their specifications (e.g., servers).

From there it's not that big a step towards designing custom-made chips for their own needs (e.g., hardware-based WebM encoding for YouTube) and hand off the actual manufacturing to partners in a joint venture.

Sweet (1)

brain1 (699194) | more than 3 years ago | (#36922894)

Look out Oracle. You wanted to pick a fight with an 800 lb gorilla, didn't you. You had to think with your wallet and not with your brain. Well, with this kind of ammunition I think Google is poised to really mess up your day.

Is a patent a single item? (1)

zAPPzAPP (1207370) | more than 3 years ago | (#36923618)

If Google buys patents off IBM, does this mean IBM loses those patents?
Or do they now both share it?
I don't see why IBM would otherwise sell patents that Google obviously has interest in. Wouldn't it make more sense to license the use of it? That would also give Google the same protection they need.

Re:Is a patent a single item? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36924018)

They can keep a license.
They can keep nothing.
They can just sell the right to license it to others.
They can just sell the right to sue others to collect money.
I think the limits are the creativity of the lawyers.
Here I would expect Google wanted the license plus the right to sue others. That's the only way to be protected against large vendors. You need patents to sue them back.
That's why patent trolls are so dangerous: they don't make anything, so they don't violate any patent, so you can't sue them back. The only thing the trolls fear is that the patent gets invalidated.
As some commenters noted, Apple, Oracle, Microsoft all make successful products. So if they sue Google or Android users, they can be sued back and forced to negotiate. If Google does not own patents that are violated by say Apple, then Apple can sue Google and behave like a patent troll as they risk nothing.

Re:Is a patent a single item? (1)

zAPPzAPP (1207370) | more than 3 years ago | (#36948524)

So you say they are buying patents others may be infringing on, not patents for things they want to do themselves.
And you protect yourself against a suit not by proving you own a license for the stuff you're doing, but instead by counter-suing for something entirely different.
I guess I was naive to assume it would work otherwise... -_-'

Re:Is a patent a single item? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36924552)

If they just license it, its not a deterrent to others suing them for violating their patents because Google cant counter with a lawsuit of their own

But this is bad right? (0)

HarrySquatter (1698416) | more than 3 years ago | (#36924290)

This is bad, right? Aren't we against companies buying up patents from other companies because they had no hand in the patent filing or "innovation"? Or is this now okay because it's Google?

Re:But this is bad right? (1)

buybuydandavis (644487) | more than 3 years ago | (#36928714)

This is bad, right? Aren't we against companies buying up patents from other companies because they had no hand in the patent filing or "innovation"? Or is this now okay because it's Google?

It's ok if they're doing it defensively, to protect themselves against lawsuits. Murder is bad, defending yourself against murder is good.

fork the droid! (1)

anwyn (266338) | more than 3 years ago | (#36927380)

driod is a propriatary product built on top of Linux. This is not a GPL violation because the GPL allows this. Never the less, it has all the well known disadvantages of propriatary Software to wit:
  • The vendor keeps the source secret making bugs difficult to fix.
  • The vendor encourages dependancy
  • Vendor lockin
  • end user manipulation.
  • additional cost
  • discourages tinkering.
  • one size fits all approach.
  • loss of freedom

All this happens because propriatary software is evil! In order to avoid these evils we need to fork the droid! That is, we need to create freesoftware that does the same thing as the droid. There should to be NO app stores! There should be software repositories!

Freedom may be expensive but slavery cost more.

picking up the ball (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36955598)

After the major fumble with its Nortel patent [washingtonpost.com] bid, Google is likely quite anxious to get some serious IP assets under its belt ... and rightfully so.

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