IBM grants Google over 200 patents
Google has acquired 217 patents from IBM concerning email management, online calendars and transferring web apps between devices
Google has just signed a deal with computer giant IBM granting the Android creator 217 patents to add to its arsenal.
The acquisition appears to be a bid by Google to beef up its portfolio in order to defend against the many legal cases being brought against the company by opponents such as Apple.
However, at the same time it also looks as though many of the patents could be used by Google to develop further services, some of which may influence Android.
Tech news site Mashable reports the patents involved are highly varied and include patents for ‘email management, online calendars and transferring web apps between devices.’
The source for the story, industry blog SEO by the Sea, goes into a bit more detail, author of the site, Bill Slawski, says:
‘The patents cover a broad range of topics, such as presentation software, blade servers, data caching, server load balancing, network performance, video conferencing, email administration, and instant messaging applications.'
'A number of the patents cover specific internet, phone, and mobile phone technologies as well,’ he added.
One particular patent also could be a potential boost for Google’s ailing social networking venture, Google +.
The patent, enthrallingly entitled ‘Patent 7,865,592’ is outlined as a method of ‘using semantic networks to develop a social network.’
So what is a ‘Semantic Social Network’? Essentially, it’s a method of social networking which bases itself on finding like-minded individuals with similar interests and people who are experts in their field.
The patent detail explains: ‘A method, apparatus and program product are provided for identifying common interests between users of a communication network. … [Interests] may be determined, for example, by calculating a ratio of the number of words in a content source to the time spent viewing the content.’
So, Google + may eventually show up people who like the same stuff you do. On top of that it could help you find people with particular skills and expertise based on their social networking content.
But more to the point it’ll find people who have that interest even if it isn’t necessarily listed as one of their ‘interests’ because it’ll analyse content they post. Clever stuff.
The deal is not the first time the two companies have exchanged patents this way, according to SEO by the Sea, Google reached two similar agreements with IBM in July and September of 2011.
Meanwhile, Mashable claims that Google has acquired more than 2,000 patents from IBM in the last year alone.
The move follows Google’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility, allegedly a bid made largely for Motorola's own sizeable patent portfolio.