In an apparent effort to generate good karma, Google is purporting to buy patents in order to keep them out of the hands of patent trolls. But what then does Google intend to do with all these newly acquired patents that it so gallantly saved from the trolls?
While Google holds itself out as strongly against the traditional patent system, it continues to amass an enormous patent portfolio for itself. In 2014, Google earned the 8th-highest number of patents from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, for a total of 2,566 U.S. patents. When Google purchased Motorola in 2011, discussions focused on the valuable patent portfolio Google obtained in the deal. In recent years since the Patent and Trademark Office instituted a “fast track” program by which applicants can pay fees in order to have their patents cut in line and be examined more quickly, Google has utilized the program extensively in order to push its patents through the system. In 2014 for example, Google obtained 875 patents through the fast track program.