back to article Google gobbles Big Blue IP stash

Having been rebuffed earlier this month in its effort to buy the patent portfolio from defunct telecom gear maker Nortel, search engine giant Google went trolling to fill its patent war chest and made a call to IBM, which has boatloads of IP. According to a story broken yesterday by SEO by the Sea, two weeks after losing its $ …


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  1. M Gale

    Soon to arrive in Ballmer's inbox.


    We notice that your Bing search engine is currently violating 235 of our patents. This could result in various legal headaches for not only you, but your customers and anybody that licenses any violating technology from you. We're not going to tell you which patents we have identified you as being in violation of, but rest assured that our legal team has assured us that we have a very solid case.

    We are reasonably compassionate though. We suggest that you leave Android and its associated Linux kernel well alone, and pay us a yearly license fee of (insert seven figure sum here). In return, if we do decide to start suing anybody, we will look the other way as far as your products are concerned.

    Yours very VERY cheerily


  2. Anonymous Coward

    Whoz your daddy ?

    Now that google is past its adolescence, its finally comes to the realization that IBM really holds lots of the useful patent in modern computing, be it search or silicon there simply is no #2 ... Yes IBM really is the big pooh-bah of modern computing .... If Larry had access to IBM's portfolio, trust me every single tech. company on this planet would have been sued ... AC for obvious reasons(I really really know what I'm talking about) ....:-)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Gene A., is that you?

      I thought you were dead?

  3. Anonymous Coward

    Go Google, Go Google, Go Google, Go Google

    Google showing us who has the brains instead of just throwing cash away?

  4. g e

    Could this be....

    Why the big G was comedy bidding for the Nortel stuff? I thought they'd only do that if they knew something the others in that winning cartel didn't.

    Where people the world over tend to get letters effectively saying 'Fuck you we are Apple' I suspect maybe a company in Cupertino may be getting a letter saying 'Fuck you we are Google' in the near future.

    Not that I'm a Google fan, they wanna own the world as much as the next maniacal polo-neck-touting control-freak but their shit does WORK and you don't need more money than sense to use it.

    Note to self: Hire bunting and hold a street party if Google bends Apple over...

    1. auburnman

      Google's Nortel stance was pretty good

      Put in a reasonable bid first, keep playing while the bids are in the low billions so no other company gets a quick win, and once the price tag hits $4.5 Bil they walk away.

      This way competitors pick up the tab and Google earmark a fraction of what they could have spent in the purchase for legal defence.

      Amen to everything else you said.

  5. Oddbin


    That makes alot more sense. Google could have gone mad on the nortel stuff but didn't and said they weren't worried. Now I see why.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Can you?

      Maybe you'd like to share with the others who can't?

      The Nortel patents were core technologies for 4G LTE, these ones seem more related to Web data structures, search and analysis.

      At least from the short example list provided they seem completely unrelated to Android.

      1. CyberCod

        Depends on whether they're licensing, or buying

        If they are buying, then they don't have to be related to android, they just have to be related to things the opponents are doing. Its a cold war. The only way to win a cold war, is to have enough guns that the other guy is afraid to shoot.

      2. Charles 9

        Remember, IBM has a long history.

        It could well be that some of IBM's patents cover LTE in other areas, or could even directly undercut some of the core LTE patents on account of being granted earlier but not actively pursued by IBM because the business wasn't there for them. Google could have looked and realized, "Hey! We could use this!" and then gone to IBM with a classic back-scratcher deal.

      3. Paul

        google don't necessarily need 2G, 2.5G, 3G or 4G patents

        google don't make their own phones with GSM or CDMA modules and firmware in them, they only need to be certain that their hardware manufacturers have adequate patent portfolios to make them or defend against patent trolls.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well it depends how fundamental they are...

    IBM have been in computing for rather a long time so I imagine they would have some fairly fundamental patents. To use the standard car analogy, it doesn't matter how many patents you have for in-car entertainment, digital dashboards, or variously shaped furry dice, if I have the patent for the internal combustion engine, vehicles with four wheels and car seats, then you better not upset me too much.

  7. Will 28

    ummm, what's patentable about object oriented programming

    I need to know what I can and can't program. Has someone patented the GoF patterns?

    Seriously WTF?

  8. Anonymous Coward

    Patently obvious

    They seem more related to Oracle's core business TBH. Make of that what you will.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Can't be bad

    Even if this only helps to neutralise various Patent suits and prevent further rubbish its 'A good thing' (tm).

    Also, I don't think the likes of Oracle and Apple realise that normal people (like me) in corporate settings do try to get even by using their influence against oracle/apple products/services - I guess its something these bastards can't quantify because they can't measure it, but I'm assuring them that there is a backlash.

    1. Paul

      boycott the heavies?

      agreed, the moment Google start acting like Apple, Oracle or Microsoft, I will actively seek alternative services.

      as it is, I don't and won't own Apple products, actively avoid buying any MS software, and will never buy another Sony product after the PSN fiasco and locking out otherOS etc.

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