Google acquires 217 IBM patents


IBM has handed over 217 of its patents to Google, as the latter attempts to bolster its intellectual property.

An update at the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) patent assignment database revealed the transfer of patents between the two, SEO by the Sea blog discovered.

Big Blue said it had nothing to add to the report and Google had not responded to a request for comment at the time of publication.

Google acquired 188 patents and 29 pending patent applications from IBM in the final week of 2011.

They cover a wide range of technologies, including those in data caching, load balancing, videoconferencing and instant messaging applications.

One patent covers the "method and apparatus for dynamically modifying web page display for mobile devices." Another covers "voice based keyword search algorithm."

Google has acquired plenty of patents from Big Blue over the past year. In July 2011, it gained 1,030 patent filings and another 1,022 in August.

With so many companies and patent trolls looking to hinder Google's progress via litigation, particularly targeting Android, the tech giant has sought to bolster its IP.

It received a treasure trove of patents when it acquired Motorola Mobility last year.

Google lashed out in 2011, claiming rivals including Apple and Microsoft had been part of an organised campaign attempting to undo Android through patent court cases.

It came after Google was pipped by its two chief competitors in attempting to buy a raft of Nortel patents.

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.