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Samsung Goes Shopping for Patents with Google’s Help

February 6, 2013 - Written By Doug Scudder

Everyone’s favorite Korean consumer electronics behemoth has begun to snatch up more and more companies in order to protect itself from more litigation. Last year an American court ordered Samsung to pay $1.2 billion to Apple because of “patent violations.” I refuse to refer to that case without using quotes around “patent violations” because most of the patents that Apple was claiming that Samsung had violated weren’t actually from technologies that Apple developed. Apple has bought up small companies to obtain their patents for the last several years. I won’t go on a rant about how Apple has turned out inferior  identical products for the last 5 years because they have used their funds to litigate instead of innovate because that’s not what this story is about.

But in response to the patent war that Apple has been waging against companies that make superior products Samsung has begun to look for companies to buy. Although Samsung is actually a large conglomerate with a large presence in several verticals they haven’t done much on the acquisition front recently. In fact, Samsung has only bought two companies since 1994, but that will probably be changing in the near future. Right now Samsung is reportedly looking into buying companies that have patents in mobile, video and bio-technology.

Unsurprisingly Samsung is looking to emulate Google in this area. Google is known for its plethora of shrewd acquisitions over the last few years. Many of the Google services we take for granted are the result of  Google purchasing companies who had a lot of potential, but could benefit from Google’s resources and guidance. Motorola Mobility is Google’s most recent high-profile purchase, but Google Maps and Android are both the result of Google’s purchasing prowess.  Google is actually working very closely with Samsung as the Korean OEM looks to expand its IP portfolio.

It’s great to see Samsung and Google working together right now. With Samsung’s recent rumblings of moving away from Android and towards a new OS like Tizen or Firefox it wouldn’t have been surprising to learn that the relationship between the two tech giants has been strained. But lets not forget that as much as Android has benefited from Samsung’s quality hardware, Samsung gets to put a free operating system on its devices that is part of a thriving, vibrant ecosystem that Google has created.

Hopefully Samsung will be able to make wise decisions as it moves into a new era of growth. It’s good to see a company that makes a quality product protecting itself from patent trolls like Apple. It will also be interesting to see what purchasing decisions Samsung will make. We may be able to get an idea of what direction Samsung is taking its mobile devices as we see what kinds of companies it buys over the next several months. We will be keeping you up to date on all of Samsung’s moves right here at Android Headlines. What companies do you think Samsung might make a play for? Let us know in the comments section below.