Jul 13 AT 12:29 PM Alberto Vildosola 39 Comments

Google ready for war, plans to hire patent experts

If you thought Google was going to take the stampede of Android lawsuits and patent trolling lying down, you thought wrong. Even though the company lost the Nortel patent bid to Microsoft, Apple and others, there are still a lot of companies out there that can be acquired for the same purpose.

“There are a lot of phenomenal portfolios for sale. Assuming they were willing to spend at least the $900 million of their initial offer to achieve the result they were after, they’re going to get there,” explains Dean Becker, chief executive officer of ICAP Patent Brokerage. Simply put, Google will certainly acquire other companies to beef up its patent war chest.

In order to do so, the company is currently looking to hire a team of patent lawyers and experts that will be responsible for “patent-related protection, licensing, dispute resolution (pre-litigation and litigation), acquisition, deals and policy work.” Key word here being “acquisition.” This team of patent specialists will also have to:

  • Determine strategic areas for patenting
  • Negotiate patent related deals including licensing and acquisitions
  • Respond to notice letters and assist with patent litigation
  • Evaluate and reply to potential acquisitions and licensing opportunities
  • Generally educate researchers and engineers on patent issues

In other words, Google is going to be patenting a whole lot of stuff from now on, while acquiring a bunch of companies. Of course, this Super Friends of lawyers will also help Google in its current fight with Oracle and other patent trolls.

I have to say, there was moment after I found out Google lost the Nortel bid that I truly feared for the future of Android. There are just so many large companies (Microsoft, Apple, Oracle, RIM, Nokia) that want to see the OS dead. It can be a bit overwhelming to see Google get attacked on so many fronts. I guess that’s what happens when you build something as successful as Android.

But that fear is now gone. Google clearly knows this patent warfare is a very serious threat to Android. Possibly the biggest threat, seeing how most competitors have given up on competing with better products.

Via: TechCrunch

Alberto is a college student living somewhere between Miami, Sarasota and the World Wide Web. Although a former iPhone owner, Alberto is now a proud Android enthusiast. You can follow Alberto on Twitter and Google+ for his thoughts unworthy of an article.

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  • http://Sadday Ben Gildenstein

    A sad day indeed that it has had to come to this. The patent system stifles innovation. I just hope that Google doesn’t engage in the MS/Apple tactic of suing smaller players.

    • http://Website Marsha Brooks

      If google is going to war like the U.S., then its going to be a lot of defeats like in nam or afghanistan.
      Maybe google should hire ithe nvincible taliban instead!!!

      • Jasonhunterx

        I should slap the shit out of smh

    • http://Website Jon Garrett

      Google should have made a serious effort to win those Nortel patents., nowt those are in the hands of Apple and Microsoft.

      • http://Website schwiz

        I would say pi-billion dollars is pretty serious its way more than the patents were valued at, and it took a consortium of corporations to outbid them.

  • iDavey

    This is what I needed to see. I knew they wouldn’t just roll over. I hope they can stem the tide. This is ridiculous that people are this fearful of Android. I mean if you have the better product, you should just let that drive your competition out of business. But I guess that’s just too old fashioned thinking.

  • http://Website James Kelso

    To say that “most competitors have given up on competing with better products” precludes iOS, WP7, and WebOS. Clearly you have no grasp of the tech industry outside of Android.

    iOS has a way more polished runtime (Google even admits it when they tout their “release it buggy, fix it later” release cycle).

    WP7 has the best ecosystem of any mobile OS due to their unique mixture of hardware partners and strict licensing requirements that make for a highly polished experience on a myriad of devices.

    WebOS has some of the greatest UX experts on the planet, they merely lack the tech chops to implement their designs. This will change soon.

    I’ll be unfollowing this blog.

    -James, HTC Incredible

    • http://Website koldkore

      I wont be unfollowing, but I think this guy has a point. I understand that this is an Android only blog, but it could do with a little less bias, Alberto.

      • http://www.facebook.com/AndroidFixation Jon Garrett

        there have been about 30 versions of iOS., ALL OF THEM were patches and bug fixes. iOS is every bit as “buggy” as Android (and every other software ever made) that’s why developers introduced version numbers.

        the difference between Android and iOS when it comes to bugs/bug fixes is;

        Apple does an excellent job of disguising its bug fixes by calling them updates WITH New Features. people get so fixated on the New Features that they completely overlook the bugs.

        Android on the other hand emphasizes the bug fixes…..followed by new features.

        I really wish that people would realize that the only thing apple does better than other companies is Marketing. they are good a projecting a positive image of their products, so much so that other companies (who sometimes have a better product) simply gets drowned out by Apple’s excellent P.R

    • http://Website Garrett

      I think his point was that Android has been shown to be beating the competition hands down, and because the other companies want it gone they’ve jumped to attacking it at the patent level; which lets be honest, the patent system is so complex and asinine that you can sue for just about anything and be able to claim damages.

    • http://Website Eric R.

      James, are you serious? You came to a site called “androidandme” and didn’t know there might be some bias towards androidOS?

      I have had three WinMo devices, each was on a different fragment (I mean version) of WinMoOS. The only reason I put up with any of them was to get a secure integration with Windows Office in my workplace. Aside from the phone functionality of my WinMo devices, the other features were always resource hogs / buggy / media player didn’t work for most formats / second party programs were always horribly slow. Real fragmentation where programs for WinMo5 will not work with WinMo 5.5 or 6 and vice versa. The end result for my experience with WinMo 5/5.5/6 was, aside from phone functionality, a horribly slow OS that could only do one task correctly (multi-tasking would not crash the OS, just slow it down to where nothing was really usable). I respect your WinMo opinion as a reflection of your specific experience.

      I have had a week of “me-time” with WP7. I didn’t care for the 8bit-looking panes UI, but love the features, functionality, and secure MSOffice integration. WinMo 6 and WP7 are quite different, and I like what Microsoft is doing with their current offering. I tried it out for a work project, but WP7 still cannot convince me to put down my lightning-fast multi-tasking single-core android phone (2.3). I believe that the corporate customer (being almost entirely Windows OS) is the only reason WinMo even survived as long as it did during the iPhone smartphone takeover of 2007~2009 (I consider 2010 the year of Android).

      For me, AndroidOS (2.2, now 2.3, and 3.1) devices completely removed the functionality limitations I experienced with WinMo, and iOS. I will consider WM7 (or 8) devices when I am off contract next year. I am excited to see how Microsoft does with future WPhone developments, and I believe that Microsoft will be the come-back player in the smartphone market. I forecast Microsoft and Google will be locked in competition like AMD-vs-Intel in the CPU market. Smart people will migrate away from the expensive “walled-garden” iOS devices when they understand that they can get a comparable experience from other, far more affordable, ecosystems.

      -quick aside to bring a smile,
      I just love how Apple convinced their flock that they didn’t need flash, and brilliantly sold them apps to return some of the functionality a flash enabled web browser would have given iOS devices for free. — good times :)

    • http://Website Sherman

      DISCLAIMER: I consider myself successfully trolled.

      >iOS has a way more polished runtime

      You have no idea what you’re talking about. iOS is as buggy as every other piece of software; they just have an excellente PR team to make up for it.

      >WP7 has the best ecosystem of any mobile OS due to their unique mixture of hardware partners and strict licensing requirements that make for a highly polished experience on a myriad of devices.

      Now you’re being funny. There’s no such “myriad of devices” precisely because of those “strict licensing requirements”; the platform is being strangled to death by Microsoft itself. There’s no ecosystem in WP7, it’s still in its infancy and shows no signs of significant growth.

      >WebOS has some of the greatest UX experts on the planet, they merely lack the tech chops to implement their designs. This will change soon.

      UX does not make a platform. Where are the apps? the devices? No growth at all, so no incentive to develop for webOS.

      MS and Palm already realized that their mobile OSes are a lost cause. HP will use it in their tablets and phones just because, and MS is making more money throwing its bogus patents to Android manufacturers that seliing WP7. iOS is the only mobile OS that can fight Android.

      All of this comes to show that it’s you who has no grasp of the tech industry. Educate yourself next time before typing your nonsense.

      tl;dr you’re retarded, so I’m happy you’re “unfollowing” this blog. The less retards, the better.

  • http://Website Bill Jones

    Lil bit biased on that last line. Android is far from the best mobile OS, anyone with a little bit of research could easily argue to the contrary. I personally hate it, not 1 redeeming factor I’ve seen, wouldn’t trade my WinMo 6.5 for a new Android for anything.

    Read the reviews of people who have actually been using it (not you scoffer droid owners who have just forayed into smartphones), WinPho 7 isn’t going anywhere – it may have been late, but like all of MS recent offerings, its a stellar product, its undeniable. WinPho7 is truely unique in the market, a true evolution of a mobile interface, droid is a bastardization of WinMo6, nothing new and innovative there at all. (Obviously, considering the hammering of patent infringement suits that they are taking, all because they thought that they could take whatever they wanted to and call it their own – pretty sleezy)

    Turnover of devices such as it is, MS only needs 18 months to make a huge cut out of that false droid market share.

    • http://Website James Kelso

      I agree with you on the biased part, but the Android architecture is much different from a “bastardization of WinMo6″. The architectures are completely different, the Intent system is much different from MS, and the UX is completely different (“start” button anyone?). The only thing they share, in fact, is their shape.

      Your love of MS shows through too clearly.

      • http://Website Bill Jones

        Yeah – I am a MS fanboy. Not closed minded.

        My experience with Android is that functionally speaking (not speaking to the architecture of the OS, Android is bloatware and requires dual core processor to compete with the svelt WinPho 7 OS on a sinfgle core)

        Functionally speaking, its not much different, a little prettier than WinMo 6x, but the theory of the interface is almost identical.

        I was astounded at the hubub about copy paste (win pho 7 too) being released on ‘modern’ smartphones, I’ve been using smartphones through 3 devices (6 years) and have always assume A: Copy/Paste and B:Multithreaded apps, why is this considered a new improvement? maybe not “true” multithreading, but I didn’t lose an open app because I wanted to use somethign else, and those apps continue to run, not always just paused in a state while I used something else.

        the popular rise of the smartphone, on many levels, took a giant leap backwards in usable functionality.

        • http://Website koldkore

          I’m sorry, but shut up. I used WM 5.0 – 6.5.5 and can easily say Android is a much nicer experience. There were virtually no updates, no support, and no market for the longest time. You obviously hate any form of change or you’re just such a hard headed fanboy that you can’t leave your precious Windows device. WM had it’s day and it was never really even on the map.

          As for WP7, I agree. It’s a very unique experience and I enjoyed my time with it. Unfortunately, it was just too light. There’s not much to do and it had a few annoying issues like forcing me to have ALL of my contacts together (SIM, Phone, Hotmail, FB)

    • http://Website JasonSabio

      “WinPho 7 isn’t going anywhere…”

      Oh no, it’s definitely going places. It’s going down in market share while the “false droid market share” just keeps on movin up: http://goo.gl/sBVgm

  • http://Website Scott G

    I realize there are fanboys for everything, but being so strong on an OS that can’t even sell enough to offset its losses of its previous version is pretty sad

    • http://Website Bill Jones

      ugh. maybe if verizon hadn’t teamed with motorola (both of whom owe the smartphone market development to Windows Mobile) to keep the devices out of user’s hands, that wouldn’t be the case.

      Its clearly superior, clearly the most innovative mGUI design – no fanboy stuff there – go read the reviews, its every bit as well thought of as iOS and Android devices by both users and ‘unbiased’ device reviewers. And the comments obout the re-take on the user experience that it offers over other devices, its clearly the most innovative new OS in the marketplace.

      • http://Website Zee112

        Best UI ? Windows Mobile ? You forget that HTC originally created Sense UI to make WinMo usable !

        • http://Website Bill Jones

          WinPho 7, not discussing WinMo in this comment. Sense UI was for WinMo not WinPho.

  • http://Website Yathushan

    To be honest, I think most of this will be used for protection over anything. As you can see the way google has tackled everything so far. They just want to protect their investment.

    What I am hoping it means is that developers will be protected from patent trolls like Lodsys who is saying that the in app purchasing of both iOS and Android is infringing their patent.

  • http://maxtechnewz.blogspot.com max

    mess with oems and your messing with google

  • http://myandroidxperience.blogspot.com Ricardo Moura Rocha

    Finally Android is reacting to this ridiculous sue if you can’t compete strategy by Microsoft, Oracle, Apple and other….
    Hope this lawsuits bonanza ends and companies can compete on production basis…

    • http://Website Renato M.

      Comment

    • http://Website Renato M.

      I agree. I think that Google was not wanting to go though this path of law suit and patent war, but as the other companies was taking advantage of Google’s passive position, Google was forced to get into this. If not they would end up being bullied by the other companies and with a limited OS. I think that Google has enough power – and money – to turn this thing around.

      It would be kind of funny if they were able to make them take back and get into some kind of agreement about the patents. Or Google could make some kind of open patents for mobiles phones… hahahaha… Everybody would go crazy.

  • http://Website mr. android

    Looks like the green robot , is going to keep growing and keep getting filthy rich with its ability to snatch more people into its nation

  • http://Website Lulu

    Am I the only one who thinks the patent law now is stupid and needs a massive overhaul?

    Under the current patent system, resouces are not used on innovation but finding out ways to pee at a bigger area to increase the territory.

  • http://Website Kwasi

    Lulu, I hope all of this pressure from Apple and the fact that Google is clearly being required to make movies in order to not be stifled by patent law leads to reform.

    It’s real obvious right now and I hope all of this litigation gets most of these vague software patents nullified.

    • http://Website Eric R.

      google made “movies” ?

      I know, I know
      Auto-correct FAIL

  • http://Website The Truth Squad

    Apple has been throwing lawyers at the competition since the early 70s. They sued Microsoft for the look and feel of the McIntosh even though they “borrowed” it from The Palo Alto Research Center and then put a patent on it.
    The aviation and radio development was slowed for decades because of patent suits. This mess will continue until the patent system is changed to only issue a patent on a real invention, not thousands of ideas like where to put your middle finger on a screen.

  • http://Website rudeboyliv

    The first company google should buy is novell, they have $600 million worth of patent, most if the related to open source

    • http://Website Joze

      Didn’t MS already Buy Novell’s patents?

  • http://Website Anil Jadhav ✔ (@talktoanil)

    We need total reforms in patents laws. Those granting patents for placing icons in grid style which is so obvious should be shot dead ASAP.

    Patents should not be granted for obvious actions / things.

    In that i case i demand patent for word “Hello” xD

  • mmitchum

    I wonder if they’ll make an episode of Law and Order about this where someone gets whacked to send a message to other patent trolls…

  • http://Website rovex

    Apple are the scumbags in the industry right now. Sure they arent the only patent trolls out there, but they are by far the most nasty. I wish they would die and take their pathetic, over priced junk with them.

  • http://Website troll

    trololololololololol

  • http://Website locoyokel

    As a long time user of linux operating systems and a big believer of open source, I, too, am rooting for google and the droid. I have little doubt that Google is going to preserve, at least to the extent that the droid remains a viable alternative to Apple. And, frankly, I think the people at google are just smarter, but of course, I may just be biased.

    In the meantime, there is a lot of money to be made in the stock market by watching what these companies are fighting over. You could have bought dump trucks worth of nortel shares for nothing and sold them when the deal went down for a substantial win.

  • http://www.dailytut.com Robin

    The day has come … Its going to be tough time for some easy money makers now. Lets wait and watch the War Play. :)