IBM hands 222 more patents to Google
Google's quest to build a strong patent portfolio continues with IBM assigning a further 222 patents to the search and advertising company. Details of the transaction have not been disclosed by either party, but the USPTO database shows the patents being transferred on 30 December 2011. This is not the first time Google has acquired IBM patents; over one thousand IBM patents were transferred to Google in both July and September 2011.
In the new batch of patents, the 1999 patent 5,937,406 stands out; it covers a process where a filesystem is backed by a database. This patent could be applicable to a system such as Oracle's Internet File System (IFS). The oldest patent in the batch – it is due to expire in 2017 – it was previously held by Informix who were acquired by IBM in 2001. Another patent that may be applicable to Oracle products is 7,100,154. It refers to a dynamic compiler which reuses information from previous execution runs and refers to Java JIT compilers in its description.
Google is still engaged in a copyright and patent court case with Oracle over the Android smartphone and tablet operating system's Dalvik virtual machine and has been acquiring patents over the last year to enhance its defensive position. Patents from the newly acquired batch such as 7,590,106 ("Wireless telephone system including voice over IP and POTS") could become far more significant in this context.