This volume of filings was unprecedented for the search giant as the number was nearly twice that of Google’s filings over all preceding years added together. Is Google just (very wisely) playing safe by pre-empting other players in the market, particularly in respect of smartphone technology?
Over recent years there has been something of a patent war amongst the big name smartphone companies. This competition is intensifying now that “wearable” technology is being seen as the next “big thing” in the world of consumer technology.
Google’s head patent lawyer Allen Lo commenting on the policy stated: “Our hope is to avoid a war… hopefully we can learn from the smartphone litigation.” Google’s research and development in the world of “wearable” technology, including “smart” glasses, its driverless cars and robotics, has obviously spurred on the company’s need/desire to file more patents than ever before.
Mr Lo stated: “We’re right at the cutting edge of newer areas we want to protect.”
Google is obviously hoping that its patent’s acquisition policy will avoid more lengthy and expensive legal arguments at some point in the future. The company was caught out before when its only option was to purchase Motorola for $12.5bn to access its patents. Google appears to have learnt its lesson.
Litigation does seem to be a constant companion in the world of technology. It is almost a case of who is suing whom today?