IBM Helps Google Pad Its Patent Portfolio

Paul Lilly

It looks as though Google decided to treat itself to a holiday bonus by splurging on over 200 patents belonging to IBM. The latest round of patents run the gamut from wireless phone technologies to JavaScript widgets, as well as one that could be used to bolster its social networking service, Google+. This particular patent -- U.S. Patent 7,865,592 -- describes "Using semantic networks to develop a social network."

More specifically, the patent describes "a method, apparatus, and program product are provided for identifying common interests between users of a communication network." One example of how it could work is "by calculating the ratio of the number of words in a content source to the time spent viewing the content."

The patent grab was discovered by SEO By The Sea blog and confirmed by Mashable . Google already purchased over 2,000 patents from IBM in 2011, as well as acquired Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion, a move that was largely motivated by Motorola's more than 24,000 patents. Having all these patents gives Google a path to producing new products, but more importantly, will help fend off lawsuits against Android.

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