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

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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50 Comments

1. snowgator

Posts: 3621; Member since: Jan 19, 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.

3. nice unregistered

they should loose

4. wumberpeb

Posts: 453; Member since: Mar 14, 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

36. 530gemini

Posts: 2198; Member since: Sep 09, 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 :)

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.

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!!!

37. 530gemini

Posts: 2198; Member since: Sep 09, 2010

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

44. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

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

47. owned unregistered

Gemini got pwnd!

6. joey18

Posts: 666; Member since: Jul 20, 2010

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

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...

8. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 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.

10. ngo2dd

Posts: 896; Member since: Jul 08, 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.

11. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 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.

16. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 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.

26. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 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.

32. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 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.

45. xenover

Posts: 174; Member since: May 27, 2011

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

46. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

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

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.

13. wumberpeb

Posts: 453; Member since: Mar 14, 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

30. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

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

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.

12. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

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

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: http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2008/fortune/0804/gallery.tech_profits.fortune/8.html 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.

21. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

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

20. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 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.

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: http://www.businessinsider.com/the-10-most-profitable-tech-companies-2011-2# 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: http://business.ezinemark.com/most-profitable-tech-companies-in-america-7736cab6b713.html 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.

27. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 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

14. grcaue unregistered

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

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