When Google lost out on the Nortel patent auction, patent brokers suggested the Mountain View, Calif.-based company would have to devise a new strategy for protecting its Android mobile platform. Apparently that strategy includes an acquisition of more than 1,000 patents held by IBM.
InformationWeek reported the "patents cover a wide range of technologies," from the manufacture of memory chips to relational databases to servers and routers. Though Google doesn't offer these things as products, the company does put many of them to use in keeping its cloud services up and running. Google has yet to indicate a specific motive behind the acquisition of these particular patents, but many observers agree that the search giant is simply bulking up its patent portfolio to fend off future intellectual property lawsuits at the hands of rivals like Apple and Microsoft.
Since Apple and Microsoft are members of the coalition that got together to buy the Nortel patents, this rationale makes sense. Even if the IBM patents have nothing whatsoever to do with wireless technology, they do give Google something with which to negotiate if the suits over Android technology take a turn for the worse.
On the other hand, some say Google may be preparing for a new product launch. But no one will speculate as to what that product might be.