Google buys 12 patents from Northbrook Digital

  • Updated: August 23, 2011 - 12:03 AM

Google Inc. has acquired a dozen patents from the Woodbury tech company Northbrook Digital.

A U.S. Patent and Trademark Office filing shows that 12 Northbrook Digital patents and one publication have been reassigned to Google Inc. of Mountain View, Calif.

Google confirmed the deal but declined to discuss the reasons for the acquisition.

Northbrook Digital, a developer of Web browsing technology, said Monday that all of its patent assets and "numerous patent applications" had been sold to a third party, but did not disclose its name.

The patents deal with cross-referencing information online, techniques for speeding up Web browsing and online advertising.

Mark Wolfe, CEO of Northbrook Digital, said there was interest from multiple parties in the technology and patent assets that were sold. That interest "highlights how important that technology has become," Wolfe said.

Northbrook Digital, founded in the late 1990s, developed Web browser toolbars but in recent years has focused on online advertising and social tagging, a way of categorizing and spreading content online.

Wolfe declined to give the company's annual sales or number of employees. He said he plans to focus on a new venture.

WENDY LEE

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