Google has made a total of $900 million in bids fo patents from now defunkt network telephony makers Nortel Networks. The reason behind the bids is thought to be that Google wants to shore up the IP rights to many of Nortel’s hardware developments meaning that in the future, Google can’t be sued by other companies for using their hardware without a license. Many companies in recent years have bolstered their revenue streams by forcing firms that used similar ideas to their patents, to pay up licensing money.
“The patent system should reward those who create the most useful innovations for society, not those who stake bogus claims or file dubious lawsuits,” said Kent Walker general counsel for Google in the firm’s blog.
‘If successful, we hope this portfolio will not only create a disincentive for others to sue Google, but also help us, our partners and the open source community – which is integrally involved in projects like Android and Chrome – continue to innovate,” he added.
The patents Google is bidding on include ones for wired, wireless and digital communication technology.
“This is an unprecedented opportunity to acquire one of the most extensive and compelling patent portfolios to ever come on the market,” said George Riedel, Nortel’s chief strategy officer.
That said, others have claimed that this is merely a game of one upmanship that Google is hoping to get in on. Out of the big telephony companies, Google in fact owns the least number of patents, currently sitting at around the 600 mark. Conversly, Apple has over 3,800 and Microsoft has about 18,000.
“Google is a relatively young company, and although we have a growing number of patents, many of our competitors have larger portfolios given their longer histories,” said Google’s Mr Walker.