Got a spare patent or two lying around, gathering dust and cluttering the place up? Google might be interested in taking those patents off your hands in return for cold, hard cash.
Yesterday, the search giant announced details of the Patent Purchase Promotion which will run for two weeks in May.
The move is an attempt to "remove friction from the patent market", with the added benefit for Google that it will help the company to expand its patent portfolio. The online patent-selling portal will run from 8 May to 22 May and has been designed to be accessible to smaller players.
As part of the program, patent holders have two weeks in which to submit details of their patents and how much they'd like for them. Google will then spend a month sifting through the submissions, separating the wheat from the chaff and deciding which it wants to splash the cash on.
By August it is hoped that the round of purchasing will be done and dusted, and the money and patents will have swapped hands.
In recent years, patents have become huge business for technology companies, and the prevalence of patent trolls means that there is big money to be made. Google has given no indication of the sort of budget it has set aside for this program, nor expressed interest in any particular type of patent. Google says:
Of course, patent buying and selling is still something that is fraught with potential legal issues, and Google advises those who are interested to speak with an attorney.