It’s no secret Google is searching for more patents to add to its portfolio. The search giant recently lost the bid for Nortel’s 6,000 mobile and wireless patents to a consortium of tech companies including Apple, Microsoft, RIM, and Sony. As my colleague MG Siegler wrote at the time, Google controls less than 1,000 patents, which is low compared to some of its competitors. Google currently owns 701 patents in total whereas Microsoft was granted 3,121 patents last year. Unfortunately, because Google doesn’t own a large number of patents, the company will continue to be vulnerable to patent lawsuits.
Maybe that’s why Google is staffing up on patent lawyers, clerks and legal experts. On its legal job listings page, Google is looking to fill six patent-related positions including a patent agent, patent counsel, patent docketing clerk, patent litigation counsel, patent paralegal, and a strategic patent licensing and acquisitions manager.
For example, the strategic patent licensing and acquisitions manager evaluates and values potential patent acquisition and licensing opportunities, and negotiates these deals (a.k.a. finds more patents for Google).
Besides looking for new patent opportunities, Google also has a major patent lawsuit to deal with—the Oracle suit. In August Oracle sued Google over its Android mobile operating system, alleging that Google has infringed on seven Java patents related to the OS and its Dalvik virtual machine. Oracle is seeking an award in the billions from Google, and it’s undoubtedly bad news for Google and Android if Oracle wins this.