On paper, Google is not specifically targeted in the various patent lawsuits against smartphone makers who build their devices to run the Android operating system. But since Android is the common denominator, and Google is responsible for the Android mobile platform, it stands to reason that Google is the ultimate target. Observers have said for months now that's why Google was so interested in Nortel's patent portfolio.
It's also why the Mountain View, Calif.-based company scooped up more than 1,000 patents from IBM recently. Google wants to beef up its own patent holdings so that it has something with which to negotiate if these Android cases don't go the way it wants them to go.
To that same end, I'd imagine, Google also recently hired a patent attorney from the Federal Trade Commission. The Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday:
Suzanne Michel is leaving her job as deputy director of policy planning at the FTC to join Google's legal team.
Michel worked for the FTC for more than a decade.
In addition to fielding whatever may come of the Android lawsuits, Michel will likely play a significant role as the company's patent litigation with Oracle goes to trial in the fall.