Last updated: October 7, 2011 - 8:07am
An analysis of more than 1,000 patents that Google bought from IBM offers a glimpse inside the search giant's increasingly frantic efforts to protect its Android mobile operating system against legal attacks from competitors.
IPVision, which makes patent-analyzing software, says that 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. Bundles of patents covering computing -- especially mobile computing -- technology have become a hot property in recent months. Apple, Nokia, Microsoft, and others have used them to extract money from competitors, or even to block those competitors' products from being sold. This year, Apple successfully prevented the sale of some Samsung devices in much of Europe, while Microsoft has used patents to extract millions of dollars in licensing fees, from companies including Samsung and HTC, for using Google's "free" Android operating system.
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