In what feels like a case of deja vu, Google has recorded the acquisition of at least 1,022 patents from International Business Machines in August of this year (there’s a 1,023rd patent listed in the USTPO assignment database as well, but the patent number appears to be wrong). The USPTO recording date for the transaction is September 13, 2011, and the execution date on the document is August 17th, 2011. I wrote about a previous acquisition of patents by Google from IBM earlier this year in the post, Google Acquires Over 1,000 IBM Patents in July
As I noted in the earlier post, Google had lost a bidding match earlier this year for more than 6,000 patent filings from Nortel to a collective formed of Apple, Microsoft, Research in Motion, Ericsson, Sony, and EMC. That doesn’t seem to have stopped them from dipping from the same well a second time to acquire more intellectual property from IBM. Google has also recently acquired a very large number of patents from the purchase of Motorola Mobility.
Last week, Google sold nine patents to HTC to help them pursue a patent infringement case against Apple. Some of the patents that were transferred to HTC were acquired by Google last year when Google purchased them from Myriad Group, which I wrote about in December.
Like the patents from the previous Google-IBM patent transaction, the range of inventions is pretty broad, including desktop and server hardware, computer security, database processes, circuit design, parallel database systems and architecture, user authentication, creditcard/smartcard testing, and much more. The vast majority of patents appear to have been originally assigned to IBM, but there were a few that started out at Cognos, Inc., which IBM acquired in 2007, and which was merged into IBM’s business intelligence offerings.
I went through the newly acquired patents and picked out some that looked interesting based upon titles alone (there were too many to dig through each of them in depth), and found some involving Java, some related to phones, and more than a couple involving search and the Web.
One of the patents listed below, System And Method For Disambiguating Entities In A Web Page Search, was co-invented by Ramanathan Guha, who joined Google in 2005 after three years at IBM. While at Google, he’s worked upon Google Custom Search, and was behind Google’s version of trust rank which may play a role in Google’s development of an author rank in places like Google Plus, and possibly in web search results as well.
Here are some of the acquired patents that I thought looked interesting (actually there were a lot that looked interesting):
Java and Scripting Based Patents
- Achieving Application-Specific Document Content By Transcoding Using Java Server Pages
- Mapping Enterprise Java Bean Attributes To Database Schema
- Determining Browser Type In An Open Java Environment
- Method And Apparatus For High-Concurrency Client Locking With Java In A Data Processing System
- Method Of Downloading Java Bean Files In A Network
- Scripting Language Blocks To Support Multiple Scripting Languages In A Single Web Page
Phone and Wireless Based Patents
- Coordination Of Cellular Telephones In A Residential Area To Obviate Need For Wired Residential Service
- Method And System For Efficient And Reliable Mac-Layer Multicast Wireless Transmissions
- System And Method Of Making Location Updating Management On A Mobile Station, Mobile Station And Mobile Network
- Telephone Information Service System
Web and Search Related Patents
- Electronic Mail System
- Method And Apparatus For Audible Presentation Of Web Page Content
- Method And Apparatus For Balancing Bandwidth Usage In A Browser
- Method And Apparatus For Enhanced, High Speed Updating And Storing Of E-Commerce Orders In A Server
- Method And System For Document Collection Final Search Result By Arithmetical Operations Between Search Results Sorted By Multiple Ranking Metrics
- Method To Keep A Persistent Trace Of Weblink Use Per User
- Method, System, And Program For Ordering Search Results Using An Importance Weighting
- Retrieving And Ranking Of Documents From Database Description
- Session-History-Based Recency-Biased Natural Language Document Search
- System And Method For Disambiguating Entities In A Web Page Search
- System And Method For Providing Service For Searching Web Site Addresses
- System And Method For Searching Patterns In Real-Time Over A Shared Media
- System, Method And Program Product For Answering Questions Using A Search Engine
- Term-Statistics Modification For Category-Based Search
- Text In Anchor Tag Of Hyperlink Adjustable According To Context
There is no information about the terms in the agreement between Google and IBM for the assignment of these patents on the USTPO website. IBM still has an incredibly large amount of patents assigned to them at the USPTO, and in the past few months Google has grown a much more robust patent portfolio than they had before.
In February, I wrote a post linking to the 809 granted patents listed as assigned to Google at the USPTO assignment database. Now they may have more than 20,000 granted patents counting the ones acquired in transactions involving Motorola and IBM. Will they keep on this path of patent acquistion, and if they do, what will they do with all the patents?
Added: September 15, 2011 – I noted above that one of the patent numbers in the list of assigned patents was probably wrong. I searched for the patent – US 0595697 – and found that the number matches up with a patent from 1897 covering a pair of opera glasses. So, it definitely is wrong. Hopefully the assignment filing will be corrected soon so that we can see the correct patent assigned.