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Why is the patent stockpile of Google growing?

post Tuesday December 10, 2013

Tags: apple, google, patent, stockpile

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This question emerged in recent times and the answer is very easy. Google wants to have one of the largest patent portfolios and it needs more patents to defend Android. The data from the U.S. Patent & Trademark office shows that Google is working hard to get more and more patents. In 2003, the company was awarded four patents, but now the company wins ten patterns when the patents office is open.


In 2007 Google realized their position was weak, looking to the number of patents, compared to Apple. Apple launched the iPhone and got a lot of patents and trademarks. For example Apple got a patent for the home-button and for the rounded corner design. Google had to go along in the patent game to keep a good market position.

Google patents

To be a competitor in the patent game, Google would not keep product features or new ideas as trade secrets anymore. A large team of employees are only trying to come up with new ideas for patents and they patent every idea they could think of. This ensured that Google won, on average, twice as many patents as the year before.

Gregory Aharonian, a technical analyst who works with lawyers to overturn patents said the following about patents: “The general rule is, the more patents a company has, the more closely the quality of their patent portfolio approaches the quality of all patents, which is to say the majority of all of these patents are invalid.”


All this work has now delivered Google more than 51.000 patents including those that are pending at the Patent & Trademark office. To come to a total of 51.000 the company submitted patents and also bought patents from companies such as IBM. Furthermore, Google’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility lead to a large increase of Google’s patent portfolio.

Latest patents

In November Google won 177 patents. One of the 177 patents is a patent for a method of determining the 3-D location of traffic lights so automated cars can see them. Very interesting, but it will not help to defend Android against the competitors.
For now it is the question if Google is more valuable because of the new patents and if they are more inventive then a couple of years ago. In the upcoming years, we will see how this develops.

Source: Technologyreview
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