Google recently purchased 217 patents from IBM, including 28 published patents and 188 of IBM’s granted patents. The transaction was posted in the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s assignment database on Tuesday. SEO by the Sea said the patents are related to email administration, IM apps, video conferencing, presentation software and more. It remains unclear how much Google paid for the patents, but the company also purchased 1,000 patents from IBM in July of last year and another 1,023 in September. Google is currently in the process of acquiring Motorola Mobility as well, which has a vast patent portfolio that Google said will help it defend its Android partners from patent lawsuits filed by litigious competitors such as Microsoft and Apple. More →
Early reports from three separate firms suggest that Black Friday retail sales set a new record in 2011. Online sales growth was massive according to estimates from both IBM and comScore; the former reported on Saturday that online Black Friday sales grew 24.3% over 2010 and total Black Friday spending rose 39.3% over last year. Meanwhile, comScore’s data shows that online spending this past Friday grew 26% from Black Friday 2010 to $816 million. Offline, market research firm ShopperTrak said retail foot traffic rose 5.1% year-over-year on Black Friday 2011, and spending was up 6.6% to a record $11.4 billion. “This is the largest year-over-year gain in ShopperTrak’s National Retail Sales Estimate for Black Friday since the 8.3 percent increase we saw between 2007 and 2006,” ShopperTrak CEO Bill Martin said in a statement. “Still, it’s just one day. It remains to be seen whether consumers will sustain this behavior through the holiday shopping season.” Press releases from both IBM and comScore follow below. More →
HP is reportedly holding a meeting Tuesday night during which it may decide the fate of its webOS mobile platform, The Verge reported on Tuesday. The meeting will take place after the market closes and will be led by CEO Meg Whitman at 4:30 p.m. PST. According to Reuters, HP has been toying with the idea of selling the unit and possible suitors include Amazon, Intel, Oracle, Research In Motion and IBM. The potential sale will likely fetch far less than the $1.2 billion that HP paid to acquire Palm in 2010. HP originally said it was killing off webOS hardware in August, and recent reports have suggested HP will soon put the final nail in the webOS coffin and subsequently lay off 500 webOS employees. More →
Back in July — less than a week after Google’s general counsel Kevin Walker took to the company’s blog to launch a war of words against rivals and their patent trolling — Google bought more than 1,000 patents from IBM’s portfolio. This past Tuesday, the U.S. Patent Office published records showing that the tech giant has purchased another 1,023 patents from IBM, this time covering technologies that range from “COMMUNICATIONS ON A NETWORK” to “SELF-ALIGNED DOUBLE-GATE MOSFET BY SELECTIVE EPITAXY AND SILICON WAFER BONDING TECHNIQUES.” The IP transfer took place last month, Bloomberg reports. This move is the latest in a long line of steps Google is taking to protect Android and its partners, the most high-profile of which is its current effort to acquire Motorola Mobility and its massive portfolio of 25,000 issued and pending patents. More →
Google’s general counsel Kent Walker apparently doesn’t see eye to eye with the rest of his company. “The tech industry has a significant problem,” Walker said earlier this week. “Software patents are kind of gumming up the works of innovation.” According to SEO by the Sea however, Google purchased 1,030 patents from IBM just two weeks before Walker made those comments. According to the report, the patents purchased cover a wide rage of IP, “from the fabrication and architecture of memory and microprocessing chips, to other areas of computer architecture including servers and routers as well.” Still more patents cover specific database functions, various aspects of object-oriented programming and even some business processes. The terms of Google’s acquisition have not been disclosed. More →
BGR’s Throwback Thursday segment is typically reserved for extinct tech, but this week we make an exception. On June 16th, 1911 — one hundred years ago today — Charles Ranlett Flint merged three companies to form the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company. Headquartered in New York City, CTR manufactured and sold scales, card-punch machines, meat slicers and a variety of other products that have long since been replaced by several generations of improved offerings. CTR changed its name to International Business Machines Corporation, or IBM, on February 14th, 1924, to better align its name with its wide range of products. IBM would hit its stride building tabulating devices, and it was at the forefront of developing the PCs we now take for granted. Now, 100 years later with a market capitalization of just under $200 billion, IBM remains a leader in the technology space, producing software and hardware that will shape the future of computing. Happy 100th, IBM, and here’s to 100 more.
BGR’s Throwback Thursday is a weekly series covering our (and your) favorite gadgets, games, and software of yesterday and yesteryear.
Apple has surpassed Google as world’s most valuable brand, according to advertising firm WPP’s “BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands” study. Apple’s brand value has ballooned 859% since 2006, and increased 84% to $153.3 billion this year. Tech companies dominate the rankings: AT&T, China Mobile, IBM, and Microsoft all have spots in the top-10 most valuable brands list, and McDonald’s is the only non-tech brand in the top-5. Google had reigned supreme for the past four years before being displaced by Apple, and Amazon surpassed Walmart to become the No. 1 retailer. Hit the jump for the full report from WPP.
Operating systems are big business. But just how big you ask? According to research firm Gartner, sales of server and desktop operating systems totalled nearly $30.4 billion in 2010 alone. “As the global economy recovered, worldwide operating system (OS) revenue totaled $30.4 billion in 2010, a 7.8 percent increase from 2009,” explains Gartner. “Among client OSs, Mac OS was the fastest-growing subsegment in 2010 as the unit shipments of Mac desktop/laptop devices saw strong sales, although from a much-smaller basis. Windows client was still the largest client OS segment, with high-single-digit growth, particularly driven by adoption of Windows 7 and the imminent end of life (EOL) of Windows XP.” Oracle saw the largest percentage-growth year-over-year thanks to its acquisition of Sun Microsystems. Analysts are expecting the operating system revenues to continue to rise in 2011. More →
Greenpeace recently released a report titled How dirty is your data: A look at the energy choices that power cloud computing, which graded Amazon, Akamai, Apple, Facebook, Google, HP, IBM, Microsoft, Twitter, and Yahoo across three “green” categories: transparency, infrastructure siting, and mitigating strategy. While Greenpeace offered some praise to the Cupertino-based company for improving transparency and its efforts to move towards cleaner energy, it failed Apple in the “infrastructure siting,” category for choosing to build its new $1 billion iDataCenter — which requires enough energy to power 80,000 U.S. homes – in North Carolina.
“Apple’s decision to locate its iDataCenter in North Carolina, which has an electrical grid among the dirtiest in the country (61% coal, 31% nuclear) indicates a lack of a corporate commitment to clean energy supply for its cloud operations. The fact that the alternative location for Apple’s iDataCenter was Virginia, where electricity also comes from very dirty sources, is an indication that, in addition to tax incentives, access to inexpensive energy, regardless of its source, is a key driver in Apple’s site selection.”
Hit the jump for more, as well as the official report card. More →
International Business Machines (IBM) has agreed to a settlement in a bribery case filed by the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC). The SEC alleges that IBM, through its overseas subsidiaries, bribed Chinese and South Korean government officials with gifts, trips, and cash payments in exchange for government contracts from 1998 to 2009. According to the SEC’s filing, IBM used “local business partners and travel agencies as conduits for bribes or other improper payments to South Korean and Chinese government officials over long periods of time.” The government agency also notes that IBM tried to hide its wrongdoings by recording the transactions as legitimate business expenses. The terms of the settlement, which would see IBM paying out $10 million, is still awaiting court approval. More →
The BBC has released an interesting analysis of the world’s supercomputing prowess based on the June 2010 TOP500 Supercomputing list. The report shows, unsurprisingly, that Linux is the king of supercomputing OS’ by an extremely large margin. Other fun facts from this months report include: the U.S. houses the most supercomputers (as well as the fastest), IBM is the largest manufacturer of supercomputing systems (HP is second), Intel is the most popular processor used in supercomputers (AMD is second), and the most widely used function for supercomputers is “research.” The fastest beast of the bunch, the Jaguar supercomputer, located in the U.S. at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, has been clocked at 1.759 petaflops; only two other machines on the list are clocked using petaflops. We’ve got all BBC article, complete with infographics, all queued up for you. More →
See also: This article’s headline.
[Via Giz] More →
Google, Inc. has purchased internet VoIP company Global IP Solutions for a cool $68.2 million; a 27.5% premium over the company’s current stock price. While Global IP may not be a household name, you might be familiar with what they provide and to whom they provide it: the back-end VoIP engine used by the Yahoo!, AIM, WebEx, Baidu, and Lotus chat systems. Google continues to bolster its portfolio of acquired companies that supplement its Google Voice and Google Talk services — you may recall Google purchasing internet chat/VoIP company Gizmo5 several months ago — but we have yet to see any drastic feature changes/additions in said services. The future looks bright for Google Voice and Talk…although we do wonder about the VoIP fate of Yahoo! et. al now that Google owns their voice over IP engine. More →