0370 270 6000

Google increases patent arsenal

19 September 2011

With its recent acquisition of 1,023 patents from IBM, Google now owns approximately 20,000 patents.

Previously, Google has lagged behind its competitors in developing a substantial patent portfolio and, as a result, has been seen in some quarters as vulnerable to patent infringement litigation. However, following its acquisition of Motorola Mobility in August, and the recent acquisition of patents from IBM, Google has put itself in a position where it could respond to infringement threats with its own ‘cold war’-like threat of mutually assured destruction. Alternatively, Google may be plotting its own infringement claim offensive.

Patents are increasingly the weapon of choice for technology companies looking to maintain a competitive edge. A potentially beneficial result of this is that the need to avoid a competitor’s patents may sometimes promote innovation and create new patentable technologies.

In the meantime, no comfort is given to smaller companies, which may struggle to afford the costs of ensuring that their innovative ideas do not infringe the patent portfolios of the technology “super-powers”.

Related opinions

80% hours for 100% pay? That’ll do nicely

As has been widely reported this week, some 3,000 UK workers are taking part in a six month trial to assess the viability of a four-day working week without any reduction in their normal pay.

View blog

Are whistleblowers entitled to keep their employer’s confidential documents?

In Nissan v Passi, the High Court recently considered the issue of an employee retaining confidential documents belonging to his former employer in the context of the employer’s application for an injunction seeking the return of such documents from the employee.

View blog

Important opportunity to comment on case law precedent

The UK government is considering extending this power to depart from retained EU case law to additional lower courts and tribunals, namely the Court of Appeal in England and Wales and the High Court of Justice in England and Wales and their equivalents.

View blog

Sky’s overly broad trade marks narrowed as found partially invalid for bad faith

Lord Justice Arnold has applied the guidance of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) to the evidence before him, in the long standing trade mark dispute between Sky and Skykick.

View blog

Mailing list sign up

Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up