Google Bought $10 Million Worth of TeraHop Patents

By: Mike Fossum - May 22, 2012

Google Inc., noted patent hawker, which finally acquired Motorola for $12.5 billion today, also paid about $10 million for another set of patents owned by a now-bankrupt portable network device company called TeraHop.

For a bit of backstory, TeraHop, based in Georgia, had filed for bankruptcy protection in September, and just last week, after the indictment of Seattle investment professional Mark Spangler, a court-appointed receivership revealed that Google had invested $10 million in patents in the company, regarding tracking technologies associated with shipping containers and RFID technologies. Spangler is charged with 23 counts of fraud and money laundering, allegedly floating $46 million through Terahop and Tamarac, which prompted the investigation of the companies.

A potion of the Google money might be used to pay back swindled investors, and some of the 115 acquired patents include:

– An antenna for cargo container monitoring
– A security system visually capturing and monitoring contents and events of cargo container
– A radio frequency identification based sensor

Google knows better than to take any chances on possible patent infringement, after a drawn-out trial with Oracle over Java patents – thought the search giant will likely come out of that proceeding with a slap on the wrist, as opposed to a possible $1 billion restitution some had speculated.

Mike Fossum

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Mike FossumMike is a writer and videographer based in Lexington, KY. Follow Mike on Twitter and Google+.

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