With Google facing a wave of patent lawsuits, it’s time to ask some tough questions about the company’s patent policy, according to an article in The Wall Street Journal.
The article points out that Google’s patents were awarded to some of the largest technology companies in the world at a time when the US was undergoing an explosive growth boom, while it was in the process of expanding its business internationally.
This means that it had an unusually large number of patents in a short time, but not enough to justify its cost to the companies in litigation.
The company also has an unusually high number of patent applications for software patents, which the Journal describes as “patent trolls,” and a number of “patently invalid patents.”
“It’s like going to a flea market for software and finding a thousand copies of a piece of software,” David Pogue, a patent attorney who works with the tech industry, told the Journal.
“It looks like the software patents are coming to Google,” Pogue added.
“But if you’re looking for a way to avoid paying for these patents, Google is your best bet.”
Google’s policy is not entirely clear.
In a blog post on Friday, Google explained that it does not make the decisions that determine how patents are awarded.
Instead, the company awards patents on a case-by-case basis.
The most recent patent application Google filed for, for example, was filed in 2013, more than a year before the company was awarded any of the patents it was seeking.
This explains why Google didn’t want to disclose the specific number of pending patents in that time frame.
“The current patent application for this feature, which we’ve filed since 2013, has been under review for some time now,” the company wrote.
“Google has a long-standing policy not to release the specifics of pending litigation.”
Google has previously made similar arguments, saying that the number of active patents in its portfolio doesn’t reflect its overall portfolio.
The company also noted that it did not release the number, but rather said it did release the average number of claims a patent was filed with.
The policy has a history of making the most of patents that were awarded at the expense of competitors, according the Journal article.
For example, in 2013 Google was awarded three patent lawsuits in a row, while another one in 2016 was awarded.
In 2017, a US District Court in Boston ruled that Google had violated a US patent statute by allowing competitors to use its Android mobile operating system without paying licensing fees.
The court also ruled that the patent licensing fees were unreasonable, noting that Google was the only company allowed to license Android patents at that time.