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Google pockets 50 mobile patents from semiconductor company

Google has acquired more than 50 patents from Magnolia Broadband, a New Jersey-based fabless semiconductor company.

According to Magnolia, the patents come from its Mobile Transmit Diversity (MTD) portfolio and cover, "methods for increasing spectrum utilisation (network capacity), expanding coverage, improving uplink transmission speeds at the cell edge, and improving device battery life." Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Magnolia says its MTD technology addresses the significant growth in mobile data usage by boosting network capacity and coverage, improving uplink transmission speeds, and increasing a device's battery life.

"We believe that Google's acquisition of our more than 50 Mobile Transmit Diversity beam forming technology patents underlines the need for such a technology in mobile broadband devices," Osmo Hautanen, CEO of Magnolia Broadband, said in a statement. "We look forward to deployment of this innovative technology in smartphones, tablets and other mobile broadband devices, to provide faster data throughput, better coverage and wider range."

The software Google's new patents relate to can be embedded into any mobile broadband device, Hautanen added. Google, however, did not acquire the software, which remains the property of Magnolia and will remain available to mobile device vendors and chipset companies.

The company is currently expanding this technology to improve streaming video and peer-to-peer applications on tablets and other mobile broadband devices. It says it will use the proceeds from the patent sale to finance ongoing research and development.

Google's latest buy comes after the company recently picked up a large number of patents through its acquisition of Motorola Mobility, which is currently locked in a high-profile patent battle with Apple, and is under investigation for patent abuse in the EU.