Patent auction loss impacts litany of Android lawsuits

Google looking to add Nortel patent portfolio to help protect against influx of litigation

Amid an avalanche of lawsuits targeting its Android operating system, Google is on the prowl again for patents after losing out on Nortel Networks Corp.’s portfolio last week.

The Internet giant eventually removed itself from the bidding war in last week’s auction for more than 6,000 patents owned by the phone equipment manufacturer that were on the block after having filed for bankruptcy protection back in 2009.

Google has been weathering a salvo of lawsuits recently, including directly from Oracle Corp., and indirectly from Apple Inc. and Microsoft Corp., among others, that are targeting smartphone makers that run on the Android platform.

Last year, Google enhanced its patent portfolio by adding about 282 to its roster, and has added another 141 as of June 28 (it has reportedly 701 patents today), which according to the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, is up from just three in 2004. Had Google won the auction, it would have expanded its holdings almost nine times.

A group led by Apple won the Nortel patent sweepstakes.

Join the Conversation

Advertisement. Closing in 15 seconds.