Steve Lohr for The New York Times:
Google’s stepped-up patent activity, Mr. Brown said, combines elements of playing corporate defense and offense, as well as being a byproduct of the industries where it is investing aggressively, especially in the smartphone market.
In the early days of Microsoft, it’s said they didn’t care much about patents — until they got burned as a result. Now they’re one of the patent leaders each and every year. It appears that Google, having also learned this lesson the hard way, is now following that same trajectory.