For the most part Google has been able to avoid the devastating patent lawsuits that other smaller companies have been victimized by, by employing a method that the majority of companies can’t follow.
Microsoft would disagree however and the company has accused Google of stepping on a number patents.
A few months ago Google purchased Motorola for $12.5 billion. Motorola has been struggling for quite some time now and the purpose behind the acquisition was not so much for the technology that Motorola possess as much as it was for the 17,000 patents.
Google has pulled off similar moves in the past.
Back in 2005 they purchased Android Inc. It was a relatively small company with not much going on but three years later the Android Mobile operating system was released. In a short amount of time the Android has grown in popularity and its sales rival the top smart phones on the market.
In order to avoid patent litigation Google is purchasing entire companies to have access to all of the patents.
With these patents under the Google umbrella it makes it easier for them to run their open-sourced software that allows programmers to tinker with the software and revise it. That is why the Google smart phones have so many apps available. People have the ability to modify the software and make changes then make it available to the public for free.
Microsoft is against the wholesale purchasing that Google has been practicing. Microsoft has already made a list of a number of Google apps that have stepped on patents and listed how many patents each app violated.
The reason Microsoft is opposed to the open-sourced way of business, giving away free software but making a profit by selling support services, is because Microsoft makes money by selling licenses. They are in direct opposition of one another.
Now the race to purchase patents has begun and it rivals a military arms race.
Google attempted to purchase 6,000 telecommunication patents from Nortel in order to avoid some patent infringement lawsuits. Google’s defensive maneuver put Microsoft on the offensive.
Microsoft teamed up with RIM and Apple to purchase the patents from Nortel before Google could and the group paid $4.5 billion. The motivation behind the purchase wasn’t because Nortel had technology that was crucial to the companies but instead the purchase was driven by the desire to keep the patents away from Google.
Richard is a father and an awesome chef. (At least in his own mind.) He writes about business and technology in his own time while attending school.