Google’s 2014 Acquisitions to Fortify Its Stance Amidst Mounting IP Issues
Google’s $3.2 billion acquisition of smart thermostat company, Nest Labs which also is its second biggest ever is certain to fortify company’s place in terms of intellectual property. Google had been weak on patents but Google’s recent strategic business moves have aimed at beefing up its patent holdings. Much recently, the company realized the kind of importance that patents hold. Since then, not only Google has amassed patents itself but has also begun acquiring companies with extensive patent rights to the extent that it is speculated that it purchased Nest for its patents alone.
Nest Labs is hugely popular for developing world-class smart thermostats and smoke alarms that had made its way into almost 1% of U.S. homes. The company boasts an extensive patent portfolio with 40 granted patents and has filed for an additional 200. It also has licensed many more patented technologies. Their deal with Google has been beneficial for both the parties.
Unlike other startups, Nest had built up an extensive patent portfolio and is deriving much benefit from its intellectual property now. Its quality patents had kept out potential competitors and now have attracted a big-name buyer (Google in this case). With this acquisition, Google shall be able to tap the ever-growing potential of the smart home devices market.
In the past also, Google has made several such intelligent acquisitions that have worked well to insulate Google from several mobile patent-infringement lawsuits. Its acquisition of Motorola Mobility for a whopping $12 billionwas a clever patent acquisition.
Google’s Other 2014 Acquisitions –Smart Defense Against Android Threat
In January, 2014, Google also acquired an Android development company called Bitspin, a software security company called Impermium and an artificial intelligence company called DeepMind Technologies. The information about these deals is scarce. But Bitspin’s acquisition, the company behind the Timely alarm clock app, is not just centered on this app, but the potential that it has in technology development. This potential will help Google counter the wave of its Android competitors. Since licensing is another good and viable option to achieve this, Google has much recently, also signed a broad agreement to cross-license a range of Samsung Electronics patents. It is absolutely certain that Google has many more surprises planned for 2014.
Few of us think of Google as just an Internet Service Provider (ISP) but this hugely popular search engine is doing much more. It’s ventured into technology sector and has even widely patented many trend-setting tech innovations . Google’s not only making gadgets such as smartphones and wearables but is also building self-driving (autonomous) cars , warehouse or logistics robots , balloons (project loon ) that carry Internet access to developing countries. It’s recently become much aware of the power of patents and intellectual property and is planning acquisition of new companies (with quality patent portfolios) for strengthening its own stand in terms of IP and better tackle the challenges associated with patent and intellectual property disputes.