Google has agreed to buy over 1,000 patents from IBM in a move experts believe could have implications in its legal feud with Oracle.
Search engine news blog SEO By the Sea discovered that the two firms had agreed to transfer 1,030 of IBM's intellectual property holdings to Google on 11 and 12 July.
The patents cover areas such as search, data mining, linking, networking, semiconductors and hardware architecture.
Patent expert Florian Mueller explained in a post to the FOSS Patents blog that the deal could be part of an effort by Google to work out a settlement with Oracle.
With the patents in hand, Google could file a countersuit against Oracle and work out a cross-licencing deal.
"In the near term, one of the most obvious ways to put them to use would be to pick some that may read on important Oracle products and propose to Oracle a cross-licence that would resolve the Android IP dispute on more favourable terms than Google could negotiate without such leverage," Mueller wrote.
"Many of the transferred patents cover fields of technology that are key to Oracle, though this doesn't automatically mean that Oracle infringes any valid ones of them."
The patent war between Oracle and Google is now entering its third month. Oracle has filed for damages of $2.6bn claiming that components in Google's Android platform have violated a number of its patents on Java technology.
Despite a verbal dressing down from the judge presiding over the case, the companies continue to dispute the matter. Most recently, Oracle has requested Google chief executive Larry Page to take the stand and testify.
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