The 2011 purchase of Motorola was mostly a means by Google to get approximately 17,000 patents in order to defend themselves from the numerous lawsuits that were occurring at the time. However, things have significantly quieted down on the legal front and Google is now auctioning some battery-related patents from the purchase.
As seen in the auction document, a total of 207 patents will be sold off. All these patents were originally awarded to Motorola and thus transferred to Google. However, they kept a hold on a majority of them during the Motorola sale to Lenovo. The patents relate to different aspects of battery technology and fall into six categories, including chemistry, charging, battery packaging, manufacturing, hardware, and hybrid batteries.
Google specifically cites five featured patents that are likely to be the most desirable for companies. The company notes that the smartphone lithium-ion batteries accounted for more than $6 billion dollars in 2014, with a single battery costing $5 on average. The market for electric vehicle batteries is expected to reach $7.6 million by 2020.
On the patent front, the US Patent Office granted Google 2,835 patents in 2015, raising it three ranks to fifth among tech companies. IBM for the 23rd year running has the top spot. As a company, Google has been trying to ward off patent trolls. In one initiative, announced last year, Google buys and licences tech patents rather than have them fall into the hands of a patent trolls.