Google protects Android with even more IBM patents

Google has gained hundreds of patents from IBM as it continues its intellectual property spending spree.

Google has acquired 187 patents and 36 applications, adding to the 1,000 it purchased from IBM in September 2011 in a move to protect its Android mobile operating system from competitors' patent lawsuits.

The cost of Google’s intellectual property spending spree runs into billions of dollars, having also purchased hardware manufacturer Motorola Mobility earlier in 2011 for $12.5bn (£7.7bn).

The deal included 24,500 patents, many of which could be used to defend features on its Android mobile operating system.

The latest patents include a method for using web-based applications across additional devices, a computer phone and a US patent that relates to social networking sites, allowing "identifying common interests between users of a communication network", according to the BBC.

Analysts say the latest patent acquisitions indicate Google is no longer playing catch-up and is now in a stronger position.

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