Google may be patent vulnerable in 2012

In 2012, expect to see Google Inc. in continuing patent litigation. Google is vulnerable because it has a relatively “tiny patent portfolio with which to defend itself,” writes Jay Greene of That’s one of the main reasons Google’s CEO Larry Page admits it is purchasing the patent-rich Motorola Mobility. This follows the acquisition of more than 2,000 patents from IBM earlier in 2011 to help in its Android defense. Google is already facing off against Oracle, and Microsoft and Apple are threatening to sue anyone that makes devices that run Google’s Android and Chrome operating systems. With a thin patent portfolio, Google wouldn’t have the option of countersuing those who launch an infringement lawsuit, a defense strategy often used in IP litigation. With Motorola Mobility, Google may be able to fend off IP suits by proposing mutually satisfactory patent cross-licensing deals. As part of our reporting on successful IP management strategies, IPBlog will stick close to this in 2012.