Google Patent Portfolio Too Thin to Protect Against Competitors?

  • Google has a relatively small patent collection, with most of its patents related to fundamental search algorithms and technologies.
  • Looking to expand into the mobile sphere, Google purchased Motorola’s cellphone business and by extension its patent portfolio to “better protect Android from anticompetitive threats from Microsoft, Apple and other companies,” Google CEO Larry Page said.
  • However, IPVision, a patent-analyzing software company, says, “the 1,029 patents that Google bought from IBM in July contain little that the company could use to either attack its competitors or defend its own products.”
  • Google will most likely need to expand its patents into mobile software. “It’s common knowledge that Google is patent poor,” says Hoo-Min Toong, co-founder of IPVision. “Not only does it need to gain patents in their own product areas, but also in defending themselves against other claims.”

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