Google has embarked on a spending spree to acquire patents for information technology. On July 29th, Google bought 1030 patents from IBM. While the purchase price was not released, it can be assured that the price was in the billions after losing its bid to procure patents from Nortel Networks Corporation. Those patents went to a consortium of companies which included Apple and Microsoft for only $4.5 billion.
The speculation is that these patents will be used to shield Google from lawsuits in the future. They must be expecting a large number of lawsuits because 1030 is only the beginning. Today, Google announced the purchase of Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion at a 63% premium over the last closing price. This will add approximately 14,600 granted patents and 6700 pending patent applications to their stockpile.
What’s next: InterDigital and their 8800 patents which is expected to cost $5 billion. At this rate, the $40 billion surplus that Google currently has (minus the cost of today’s acquisition) is good for another few hundred thousand patents. It appears that information instead of manufacturing is the key to the future.
Couple the above information with the Google-National Security Agency alliance and we may not have to wonder if the Department of Homeland Security is watching who is buying waterproof matches. Information will become our chains in the future as outlined in the book “Full Black”.