Google tries to buy its way out of patent problems

April 4, 2011: 5:34 PM ET

$900 Million for Nortel's patents could put some of its patent questions to an end.

Image via Ottawa Citizen

Google (GOOG) and its Android partners are, like the rest of the industry, engulfed in patent disputes from Oracle (ORCL), Nokia (NOK) Apple (AAPL), Microsoft (MSFT) and others over Android, and to lesser degree, Chrome.

As a younger company with only a relatively recent focus on mobile communications, Google has a shallow patent pool from which to fight these battles.

Today, Google announced that they'd try to put some of the patent litigation uncertainties to an end with the purchase of Nortel's patents.  The patents are part of auctions to sell off the assets of bankrupt Canadian communications giant Nortel, which has 6,000 patents to its name.

The agreement includes the planned sale of approximately 6,000 patents and patent applications spanning wireless, wireless 4G, data networking, optical, voice, internet, service provider, semiconductors and other patent portfolios. The extensive patent portfolio touches nearly every aspect of telecommunications and additional markets as well, including Internet search and social networking.

Google says that if it wins the bidding, their hope is that "this portfolio will not only create a disincentive for others to sue Google, but also help us, our partners and the open source community—which is integrally involved in projects like Android and Chrome—continue to innovate."

This says a few things to me: More

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