Internet giant Google announced that the firm has acquired over 1,000 patents from IBM which may be used to defend the Android operating system from ongoing patent litigation.
Google has previously argued that patent litigation stifles innovation and that younger companies such as Google are forced to buy patents to defend themselves against IP often bought and sold from long-defunct companies.
A recent mega-sale of Nortel patents saw Google open bidding at $900m, eventually raising a bid to $3 billion before being outbid by a nightmare collection of the firm’s rivals including Apple, Microsoft and RIM for a stunning $4.5 billion.
The high stakes is indicative of how important patent litigation is thought to be in the ongoing battle for smartphone and tablet platforms. It’s not known exactly how the IBM patents will help Google but some of the patents relate to the manufacture of CPU and memory chips which suggests an Android defence use.
"Like many tech companies, at times we’ll acquire patents that are relevant to our business needs," Google said in a statement.
The firm is however highly critical of patents with Google law chief Kent Walker telling Techcrunch last week: "A patent isn’t innovation. It’s the right to block someone else from innovating."
Google has also described patent litigation as a "wasteful war that no one will win."