Google confirmed on Friday that it purchased just over a thousand IBM patents earlier in July. It has been reported that most of the patents appear related to search. Particularly within Silicon Valley, patents not only serve to protect ideas, but also to act as weapons of mutually assured mass destruction.
Often times used as litigious bombshells, patents are utilized by companies to stave off otherwise agressive competitors who may themselves also wield patents offensively. The result is effectively a "Cold War" of ideas anhad has increasingly been criticized as a subversion of the patent system.
Embroiled in recent patent controversy with the likes of Oracle and Apple, some speculate that Google may be stuffing its war chest with more ammunition. Others believe this is just another day in the life of Google. Here are some of IBM's patents believed to have been acquired in the sale:
List of patents provided by SEO by the Sea:
- System And Method Of Using Data Mining Prediction Methodology
- System And Method Of Automatic Discovery Of Terms In A Document That Are Relevant To A Given Target Topic
- System And Method For Web-Based Querying
- System And Method For Imbedding Hyperlinked Language Grammar Notation In A “Literate” Programming Environment
- Method And Apparatus For Maintaining State Information For Web Pages Using A Directory Server
- System And Method For Maintaining Up-To-Date Link Information In The Metadata Repository Of A Search Engine
- System, Method And Service For Ranking Search Results Using A Modular Scoring System
- Updating Of Embedded Links In World Wide Web Source Pages To Have The New Urls Of Their Linked Target Web Pages After Such Target Web Pages Have Been Moved
- Method And System For Classifying Semi-Structured Documents
- Majority Schema In Semi-Structured Data
- System And Method For Query Processing And Optimization For Xml Repositories
- Identifying Duplicate Documents From Search Results Without Comparing Document Content
- System And Method Of Ranking And Retrieving Documents Based On Authority Scores Of Schemas And Documents
- System And Method For Ranking Nodes In A Network
Google is no stranger to patent acquisitions, however. With the recent auction of Nortel's intellectual property, Google made some truly massive bids for what ended up being the 'biggest patents sale in the history of the world'. Shortly afterward, Google's Senior Vice President, Kent Walker, drew an interesting parallel, accusing the U.S. patent system of looking "like plates of spaghetti."
Although the search giant ultimately failed to win the Nortel IP auction, Google did make some amusingly whimsical bids to the tune of mathemetical constants. Google's offers included $1,902,160,540 (Brun's constant) and $2,614,972,128 (Meissel-Merten's constant). For the final bid, Google offered $3.14159 billion USD, which bears a striking similarity to "π" (pi).