updated 01:20 pm EST, Tue January 3, 2012
Google tries to counter patent wars with more IBM
Google has quietly escalated its attempts to mount a defense for Android by getting more IBM patents. An acquisition recorded December 30 gave Google 217 more active and pending patents primarily focused on cellphones, mobile web browsers, and voice search. Among the examples are a patent for a "computer phone," another for a method of resizing websites for mobile, and a third for voice-based keyword searches.
The search firm hasn't discussed the patents so far.
Google has been in a reactionary patent acquisition mode ever since it was outbid in Nortel patents last year. Along with the IBM patents, it bought Motorola for $12.5 billion in a move that was meant primarily to get access to Motorola's roughly 17,000 patents.
All the deals are believed to be attempts to offer a patent defense to Android hardware supporters like Barnes & Noble, HTC, and Samsung. Many of these have been the targets of either Apple lawsuits and trade disputes or else Microsoft's well-known anti-Android patent campaign, which has been counting on most companies agreeing to pay a royalty rather than contest Microsoft in court over the legitimacy of its claims. [via SEO by the Sea]