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Google buys 1030 patents from IBM, Apple could win huge if its Android lawsuits hold water

Posted: , by Daniel P.

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Google buys 1030 patents from IBM, Apple could win huge if its Android lawsuits hold water
Google, which has a traditionally good relationship with IBM, has bought from Big Blue 1030 patents covering stuff "from the fabrication and architecture of memory and microprocessing chips, to other areas of computer architecture including servers and routers as well. A number of the patents also cover relational databases, object oriented programming, and a wide array of business processes."

While some of the patents listed involve databases and search queries, which is connected to Google's bread-and-butter search business, a lot of those will no doubt be used to fend off the number of lawsuits by Apple and others against El Goog's Android mobile OS, after the saga with the failed bid for Nortel's patents.

Microsoft already made HTC pay it $5 for each Android handset they make, and is on the way to bend the N1 Android maker Samsung as well. Should Apple succeed with its HTC lawsuit, it could actually earn a pretty good chink of cash from that stream as well. Cupertino already had a preliminary decision that HTC is infringing on two of its patents, and is engaged in a neck-and-neck battle with Samsung over the same patents, so Bernstein's analyst Toni Sacconaghi thinks Apple stands a viable chance to cash in on its IP property:

  •     "We anticipate that Apple will push its legal claims hard and unrelentingly and believe that the company's key goal is to upend Android's momentum by forcing a work around on key essential features which, if successful, could have huge, positive financial implications for Apple. Given that Apple appears to have more to lose in any one legal case than they might gain (since Apple ships a much higher value of smartphones than any other player), logic suggests that Apple feels confident in its odds of winning patent disputes it initiates. Should Apple prevail in forcing Android to rework some of its functionality, resulting in market share shifts, it could have huge, positive financial implications for Apple: we note that a 10 percentage point shift in smartphone market share from Android to Apple (the current run-rate smartphone market share is 46% for Android vs. 18% for Apple) in 2013 is worth an estimated $30B+ in annual revenue and $10+ in annual EPS to Apple.

  •      Apple appears to have the strong upper hand in its legal battle with HTC, but we see the current rulings as only a warm up bout. A second Apple suit against HTC – as well as separate suits against key Android vendors Samsung and Motorola – involves its iOS multi-touch patents, which we believe are the key pieces of IP that Apple ultimately seeks to reaffirm at all costs, given their potential to undermine Android. While HTC (specifically, its recent acquisition – S3 Graphics) and Apple recently won preliminary judgments against each other at the US ITC, we view S3's victory as limited in scope (unlike Apple's claims against HTC) and not posing a credible threat to Apple. More importantly, however, Apple recently launched a second case against HTC claiming infringement of its key multi-touch patents. We believe this is the much more important battle, and one which courts have yet to rule upon. Apple's legal suits against other key Android OEMs (Samsung and Motorola) also include claim violation of such patents. Consistent with the importance of this IP, Apple's recent settlement of its patent dispute and accompanying licensing agreement with Nokia does not appear to involve these patents."

Looks like Nokia might have made a wise decision to go with Windows Phone, after all, since going with Android might have invalidated the nice cash outlay and ongoing royalties it won against Apple recently, for infringing on its own patents - this kind of money is no small change for the troubled N1 cell phone maker.

via SEObytheSea & CNN

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posted on 29 Jul 2011, 09:17 7

1. snowgator (Posts: 3583; Member since: 19 Jan 2011)

Again, it may not be a popular stance, but I believe Apple has a case against Android powered Handsets. I still do not believe that there is a chance of banning any device from the shores of the U.S. But I do believe Google has painted their handset makers into a corner. Apple will get cash from Android sells, just like fellow giant Microsoft does. Maybe enough that handset makers will start to move away from all-out adoption of the OS. That is what Apple's end game may be to help preserve their position for the future.

Also could put the Tablet market behind the iPad for a long, LONG time.

posted on 29 Jul 2011, 09:35 6

3. nice (unregistered)

they should loose

posted on 29 Jul 2011, 09:38 5

4. wumberpeb (Posts: 453; Member since: 14 Mar 2011)

What a joke...big companies are buying a quarter billion patents from other big companies just to survive another big company's vindictive lawsuits.

Is this the only news I'm hearing lately? Sure seems that way with everyone in court rooms...

I'm guessing Rambus gave some pointers to Apple on how to properly sue like an asshole

posted on 29 Jul 2011, 15:22 2

36. 530gemini (Posts: 2198; Member since: 09 Sep 2010)

@wumberpeb. It's easy for you to make such a comment because you do not own a multi-billion dollar company. You are not protecting products that earn billions of dollars. I guess you will never be an asshole :)

posted on 31 Jul 2011, 21:27

50. howdydoody (unregistered)

haha, your point is ironic. Apple's products already earn billions of dollars, why should we feel sorry for them if they lose a couple million to Android handset manufacturers. What's the worst that could happen? Apple might not be able to hire that one additional lawyer instead of pumping the money into R&D? aw....breaks my poor, little aggravated-consumer's heart.

posted on 29 Jul 2011, 09:52 4

5. Arashal (unregistered)

What a shame for apple. See, if you want to pull the battle to the court not to the market, you receive bad complication!!!

posted on 29 Jul 2011, 15:24 2

37. 530gemini (Posts: 2198; Member since: 09 Sep 2010)

@arashal. Which is more shameful? Infringing or protecting an IP? Apple is doing very well in the market by the way.

posted on 30 Jul 2011, 09:29 4

44. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

well, since apple is doing both, why dont u tell me? :)

posted on 30 Jul 2011, 12:51 1

47. owned (unregistered)

Gemini got pwnd!

posted on 29 Jul 2011, 09:53 2

6. joey18 (Posts: 589; Member since: 20 Jul 2010)

this why not follow rules then start copy staf from another companys apple is great never lead those loooserr steal there products

posted on 29 Jul 2011, 09:59 1

7. Nuadar (unregistered)

Funny think is that they are suing Motorola...Motorola has nearly 20k patents in areas that are very very important in mobile industry...if they would want(and at some point they will want)they could easily sue hell out of apple too...

Its seems so messy and boring with one company sueing ech other...its not good for market...

posted on 29 Jul 2011, 10:04 4

8. taco50 (banned) (Posts: 5506; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)

Apple has a right to protect themselves. Their innovation made iPhone the most popular phone in the world. Now other companies are making money off Apple's hard work.

posted on 29 Jul 2011, 10:33 1

10. ngo2dd (Posts: 896; Member since: 08 Jul 2011)

Really hard work? The patient that HTC is infringing on was from 1996 before apple has anything to do with smartphone. One of them was turning text into link. Many of those patient where brought out from other company. The gesture was not a Apple patient, they just brought the company that own it. You are a troll dude. How about those Fact.

posted on 29 Jul 2011, 10:59 4

11. taco50 (banned) (Posts: 5506; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)

You're the troll Apple revolutionized the smartphone market and that's a fact. Look at the smartphone selection before the iPhone was launched it's night and day.

posted on 29 Jul 2011, 11:30 3

16. Sniggly (Posts: 7305; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)

Taco, do you really think only Apple could've pulled off a product like the iPhone?

Regardless, while I agree that a company should be able to protect itself against infringement on its IP, right now it is attempting to use government force in order to eliminate Android from the market entirely based on patents which are pretty nonspecific. If Apple has its way, no one else will be allowed to make touchscreen smartphones period. This is the eventuality that Apple clearly wants.

And I f**king hate any company which uses government force to get what it wants. Maybe I'm an idealist, but that's the way I feel.

posted on 29 Jul 2011, 12:13 2

26. taco50 (banned) (Posts: 5506; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)

I'm not saying only Apple could have pulled it off, but they did pull it off first. IP is everything in the software world. They came up with new and intuitive ways to interact with your phone. I don't see that HTC or anyone else gets banned, but they should have to pay royalties just like any other company. This is part of the process. Nokia collects royalties from Apple, Microsoft from HTC are just a couple of examples. Right now HTC is using something they didn't come up with and not even paying for it.

posted on 29 Jul 2011, 13:26

32. Sniggly (Posts: 7305; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)

And I'm sure that if the court sides with HTC they'll gladly pay a fair price. But remember that Apple isn't asking for royalties: they're asking for HTC to be completely banhammered from the US market.

posted on 30 Jul 2011, 11:21 1

45. xenover (Posts: 174; Member since: 27 May 2011)

Sniggly, you always know what you're talking about. I like that.


posted on 30 Jul 2011, 11:45

46. Sniggly (Posts: 7305; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)

Thank you, xenover. I like knowing what I'm talking about. :)

posted on 29 Jul 2011, 11:37 1

17. G-Reg (unregistered)

Let me help you out here. You keep looking more and more like an idiot with your nothing but fanboyism comments.

Come back with something of value and maybe you can run with the big boys.

But untill then, just realize no one puts any value to your comments and most likly skips past them.

posted on 29 Jul 2011, 11:04 2

13. wumberpeb (Posts: 453; Member since: 14 Mar 2011)

Do you really, truly, honestly believe that Apple is 'merely' protecting their IP?

You're absolutely right, Taco, Apple has every right to protect what they patented (or the patents they purchased, more commonly for everyone these days), but wouldn't you agree that they're just as likely to drag everyone to court to ruin Google's momentum? Google and Apple are mortal enemies in the mobile business, so I suppose someone saw this coming...but dont be naive as to think that sweet little Apple doesnt have a vindictive side. Theyre sueing everyone to kill off their competition

Yes, Taco, they are. Hopefully it doesnt work

posted on 29 Jul 2011, 13:15 1

30. taco50 (banned) (Posts: 5506; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)

Yes it's called business. If you steal my ideas and cause me to lose money I will take you to court.

posted on 29 Jul 2011, 10:24 1

9. InspectorGadget80 (unregistered)

Apple is just afraid of Android thats why they sue HTC one of the best companies ever. Now APPLE sees why everyone hates your guts.

posted on 29 Jul 2011, 11:01 4

12. taco50 (banned) (Posts: 5506; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)

Yea the most successful and profitable electronics company in the world is afraid of HTC. That makes sense.

posted on 29 Jul 2011, 11:44 1

18. just another "fact" killer (unregistered)

Yeah, the most profitable electronics company in the world is not Apple, it's Microsoft. Apple falls to number 8 on the top 20. Need proof? Check out this link:


You will also notice that Google beat them out at number 7. Not saying that Apple isn't profitable and that they may even be the most profitable in the mobile industry but in overall tech they have 7 other companies more profitable than them.

posted on 29 Jul 2011, 11:51 2

21. Sniggly (Posts: 7305; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)

Sorry to burst your bubble, but that was back in 2008.

posted on 29 Jul 2011, 11:49 1

20. Sniggly (Posts: 7305; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)

Have you seen HTC's growth over the past couple of years? It's not nearly at Apple's level in profits, but it's coming up like a freaking freight train.

posted on 29 Jul 2011, 12:10

25. just another "fact" killer (unregistered)

You're right, my bad, here is a list of the most profitable tech companies in the world from February, 2011:


Still, as mentioned, Apple is not number 1, infact they are not even on the list. For that matter though, neither are Google nor Microsoft.

Then check out this link for the most profitable tech companies in America from June 2011:


It still lists Microsoft as number one with Apple at number 3.

Anyway, my argument still stands that Apple is not the most profitable tech company in the world as taco suggested.

posted on 29 Jul 2011, 12:20 2

27. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

strictly speaking from a mobile device standpoint, they are the biggest. Microsoft has a seperate mobile devision that reports seperately from its other arms, just like samsung does. Apple reports everything under 1 roof for phone and computer, so it gives them an "edge" when reporting numbers.
Its just like when people say the iphone outsold all other phones, when its really the 3GS and i4 grouped together while everyone else posts sales by individual phone.

When you add it all together though, Apple is most definately not the biggest tech company in America. Of course, dont tell Taco, Miz, or Gemini that.. lol

posted on 29 Jul 2011, 11:09 1

14. grcaue (unregistered)

First off! When iphone was launched it was not a smartphone and that's a fact!

posted on 31 Jul 2011, 17:39

49. wassup (Posts: 565; Member since: 23 Jun 2011)

it still isn't ;)

posted on 29 Jul 2011, 11:22 3

15. Darth8ball (unregistered)

Apple stole from Nokia and had the court case moved to the US so they could "bribe" their way to a win. Motorola has to have that in mind.
Apple lost a lawsuit and was ordered to pay damages and then had a Federal Judge overturn the jury decision of the damages. They paid nothing.
Apple sued a 17 year old (and his parents) for buying the white conversion kit for the idiot phone from their supplier and reselling it for a profit, but never sued the supplier for selling it.
Apple and corporations that do business like them are the reason for the financial trouble America is in. They don't lose in court, and if they do.....they buy their way out.

posted on 29 Jul 2011, 11:47

19. Darth8ball (unregistered)

taco, just get it over already and go to Cali and try to marry Jobs. You have no idea what your talking about. Apple "borrowed" the intellectual property of phones that were not yet marketed in the US because we get technology to our consumers last in the world. They then changed dotted an i differently to claim it was their improvement on an idea. The cell market outside the US was were Apple was in our country before there was an iPhone.

posted on 29 Jul 2011, 11:51 2

22. gallitoking (Posts: 4718; Member since: 17 May 2011)

wow for a friday everyone is fisty today.... I am not a lawyer. but i could play one on tv... I say ... we are cellphone consumer what ever a company outside of making cellphones,.. I really dont care.. If a company sees a posibility to sue someone ..do it.. welcome to America. the home of lawsuits...

posted on 29 Jul 2011, 11:54 1

23. Moo (unregistered)

Their ios is boring and they are losing a lot of ground to Android. Even with the new iphone 5 coming out there are already Android phones with dual cores etc. The public is finding out there is another choice and Apple does not like it.

posted on 29 Jul 2011, 12:06 2

24. Darth8ball (unregistered)

I agree with Moo completely. Remember Gateway computer company. Cheap easy to use, non-upgradable for the technology non saavy. But as the country got more tech saavy, so went the Gateway company. Apple, people are becoming more and more saavy in the ways of the smartphone and will want more. You can't bully your way trough the market for much longer.

posted on 29 Jul 2011, 12:21

28. Moo (unregistered)

Android will be #1 sooner or later. Android is flooding the market with so many choices. How could you ignore what you see. Even if Apple offers the 3gs for free or lower prices its to late.

posted on 29 Jul 2011, 12:45 1

29. cc (unregistered)

Taco, you are a sad human being.

posted on 29 Jul 2011, 13:18 1

31. taco50 (banned) (Posts: 5506; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)

Act like a man remix and post from your own name

posted on 29 Jul 2011, 13:38 2

33. Sniggly (Posts: 7305; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)

I doubt that's Remixfa, honestly. Taco, over the past several months you've gained a pretty bad reputation here. The last two days you've been great, but unfortunately people are slow to accept that someone can change. Give it time, keep being generally pleasant and eventually you won't see many posts like this anymore.

Hope this helps.

posted on 29 Jul 2011, 15:53 1

38. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

lol, why the heck would I post under someone else's name? Im not some sad idiot that buffers my posts with fake posts to look like people agree with me (ahem taco & miz).

Sniggly noone changes. They just learn to control their urges... or they dont. Its not change, its a leash.

We'll see if taco can change. My vote is on No. He has already tried to call me out needlessly on two seperate threads. He is still trying to start crap, but now hes trying to entice others to throw the first insult so he can look like the victim.

posted on 29 Jul 2011, 14:21 1

34. 530gemini (Posts: 2198; Member since: 09 Sep 2010)

It does look like there's a patent ruckus going on, and it does seem to look bad. But it's actually a good thing that this is happening. Everyone will benefit from it eventually. All OEM's should know which technology they are entitled to, and which ones they are not. This will cause all OEM's to be more respectful of each others owned technologies, and to ask for due permission and pay due license fees to use a patented IP. IP ownership has been taken for granted and messy for years now. It needs to be cleaned up. Manufacturers just copy ideas and make huge profits out of it. While the one who actually came up and owns the idea doesn't get a dime for it, and is even being rivaled by those who just took their ideas. Not fair.

This move by google is a smart one if they want to compete fairly. It doesn't matter who invented a technology or who came up with an idea. It's about owning that tech or idea that matters, and making it yours LEGALLY.

posted on 29 Jul 2011, 14:29 3

35. christianqwerty (Posts: 467; Member since: 05 May 2011)

Apples reputation is not being effected, i asked my friends if they heard about apple suing HTC, they were like "huh". No one really knows other than us tech geeks.

posted on 29 Jul 2011, 18:15 1

39. dionddc (Posts: 129; Member since: 19 Jul 2011)

It's funny how people are getting worried over this.

Sure, HTC makes a huge chunk of Android phones.

To be honest though, Samsung will never be sued like this is any way. Samsung has A LOT more patents than Apple.

You guys shouldn't worry about the future of Android, if Samsung doesn't decide to abandon it, then Android will still be very relevant - and will still beat iOS in market share by the time Apple sues all the other manufacturers.

Given the close relationship between Samsung and Google, they're much more powerful than Apple.

I repeat again - APPLE is a tiny company. SAMSUNG is a huge company. Samsung beats Apple in profit, revenue and assets. Even their share price is basically double that of Apple's.

I'd like to see Apple try and sue Samsung again - last time they did it, Samsung just gave them a slap to their face by showing their patent list, and said "try a smaller company."

posted on 29 Jul 2011, 20:36 2

40. stealthd (unregistered)

Samsung IS being sued like this by Apple. Have you not been paying attention?

posted on 29 Jul 2011, 21:48 1

41. taco50 (banned) (Posts: 5506; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)

He's a fandroid which means he's disconnected from reality and facts are meaningless to him.

posted on 29 Jul 2011, 22:35

42. Matty (Posts: 15; Member since: 06 Jul 2011)

Being a lawyer specializing in patent infringements must be a job thats in high demand and which also carries a hefty paycheck.

posted on 30 Jul 2011, 01:01 1

43. droidfan_007 (unregistered)


posted on 30 Jul 2011, 16:58

48. Moo (unregistered)

Time for me to consider which Android device to get.

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