Patents granted to Google rose 170% in 2012
Google recently reached an agreement with the FTC not to use its standards-essential patents, most of which it picked up with the 2011 acquisition of Motorola Mobility, to request a sales ban on a rival company. The other day, Google dropped a pair of patent claims against Microsoft after originally seeking a ban on the U.S.import of the Xbox game console. The standards-essential patents are supposed to be licensed using fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) negotiations.
Google has been trying to beef up its intellectual patent portfolio to put it in a stronger position to take on companies like Apple that had been flexing its patent muscles in court. The recent joint-policy statement between the Justice Department and the USPTO decrying the use of SEP patents to force a sales ban against competitors has forced Google to take a step back a little with this strategy.