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Google props up Android with 1,023 IBM patents

Google has bought 1,023 patents from IBM in an attempt to prop up its claim on smartphone technologies, as companies prefer to fight out their rivalries in patent courts rather than on shop shelves.

The search and advertising giant's Android open-source OS is a target from rivals such as Apple and Microsoft who may claim - and have claimed - that it uses technologies developed or owned by them.

Suits from Apple fired at handset makers using Android spooked Google into embarking on a rapid assembly of patents, buying the likes of Motorola Mobility outright and picking up portfolios from the likes of IBM.

Google bought some 1,030 patents from IBM in July, and records at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office show it acquired 1,023 more on August 17th.

Google confirmed the transaction to Bloomberg yesterday while IBM kept quiet as it nipped off to the bank with an undisclosed sum..

Phone firms HTC, Samsung Electronics and Motorola Mobility have all found themselves on the wrong end of legal assaults from Apple. Google bought Motorola and last month transferred nine patents that came along with the deal to HTC to help the Taiwanese outfit fight off Apple.