Google patents now available for start-ups to snap up

23 Jul 2015

In an effort to combat the growth of patent trolls, Google patents have now been made available for start-ups to apply for – or at most two anyway – with a few terms and conditions.

The move for a Google patents marketplace comes following the company’s move to open a private pop-up marketplace last April for the very limited market of just Google, but is now accepting applicants for patents from outside its ecosphere.

The company revealed its offer to start-ups with a series of terms and conditions online, with the added incentive that only 50 will be able to receive access to their patents.

According to TechCrunch, the decision is part of Google’s effort to bring more companies within the LOT Network used to protect companies from patent troll litigation, which also includes Dropbox and Uber as signed-up members.

The terms and conditions also appear to be somewhere restrictive in terms of what a start-up can actually acquire from Google, most obvious of which is that your start-up must have earned between US$50,000 and US$2m during 2014.

You will then be sent a list of patents to choose from – from between three and five patent families – and then asked to choose two from the prerequisite list.

However, those who aren’t able to access the Google patents programme can still potentially gain access to a partial database of its patents and can then make enquiries of purchasing one of these patents.

Every one of the 50 who is successful, however, does have to agree to join the LOT Network for a period of two years, and only after joining will you be able to acquire the patents.

Update 24/07/2015

This article and headline have been amended to show that Google are offering the two patents for free and are not charging start-ups for them.

Patents in blocks image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic