Google buys 6,000 Nortel Patents, Opens them up

Ruthless Software Patents are Evil, claims the industry’s top innovators. Not only do they prevent good things from happening, they often aren’t worth the trouble.

The tech world has recently seen remarkable number of instances driven by patent litigations, often involving low-quality software patents, which threatens to decelerate innovation. The problem with it is that most Patents are held with people/companies that have never actually materialized any of it. The patent system  should instead concentrate on rewarding patents to those innovators who create the most useful applications from ideas, for the good of the society.

Google is taking a step here to lighten things up, both in the best interest of the company’s products and for its partners. Google has bought all of Nortel‘s remaining patents and applications for $900 Million for a total of 6,000 patents covering wired, wireless and digital communications technologies. Google would get patents for wireless, 4G, data networking, optical, voice, semiconductors and other telecom areas.

What would Google Do with Telecom patents? Google would use these patents to innovate in its own products like Android, Chrome and let anyone in the Open Source community play with all of it. In other words, these patents will now be owned by everyone, thereby not restricting in sort of innovation, which could have been stuck for years.

Google adds:

Today, Nortel selected our bid as the “stalking-horse bid,” which is the starting point against which others will bid prior to the auction. If successful, we hope this portfolio will not only create a disincentive for others to sue Google, but also help us, our partners and the open source community—which is integrally involved in projects like Android and Chrome—continue to innovate. In the absence of meaningful reform, we believe it’s the best long-term solution for Google, our users and our partners.

O yeah! Openness, the way to go. But what would Google do with the non-related Telecom patents? Build another Gigabit fibre ISP? We would have to wait for that.

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