updated 09:28 pm EDT, Mon June 4, 2012
Portfolio likely to help with smartphones and tablet devices
Google has expanded its patent portfolio with the acquisition of a number of patents related to mobile RF uplink solutions. Google bought the patent holdings from Magnolia Broadband, and it is expected that the portfolio, in combination with Google's recently-completed acquisition of Motorola, will help the search giant in the manufacture of smartphones and tablets in the near future.
Magnolia has 28 issued patents and 24 patents pending in the United States. The very brief public announcement of the sale had no details on how many of these patents were sold to Google, but the phrasing suggests that Google bought the entirety of Magnolia's holdings. One likely key patent among the portfolio contents relates to beamforming, a signal processing technique used in sensor arrays for directional signal transmission or reception. Magnolia has developed beamforming technology to improve traffic capacity on high-speed networks. The technology is said to double the data transfer rate for end-users and improve battery performance, all without the need for user hardware upgrades.
In the wake of multiple patent-based confrontations with other tech giants, Google has been continually expanding its patent holdings. The Motorola acquisition came with a pledge that Google would license the patents that came with that company in a fair manner, something it has not yet been seen to be doing; the Magnolia purchase by contrast is believed to be largely targeted at improving the company's flexibility with regard to forthcoming Google-branded devices.