Google announced on Thursday that it had acquired more than 1,000 patents from International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) to defend itself against lawsuits -- although a greater interest in intellectual property suggests a legal showdown between Apple and Google.

"Like many tech companies, at times we'll acquire patents that are relevant to our business," a Google spokesman said in a statement.

Bloomberg and others are reporting that the Web-search giant Google has stocked up on at least 1,030 patents from IBM across a wide range of sectors. The patents involve the "fabrication and architecture of memory and micro-processing chips," computer architecture including servers and routers and online search engines, they noted.

IBM was awarded roughly 5,896 patents in 2010 and the company is an intellectual property factory. These patents could wind up being a partial cure to any of Google’s present intellectual product headaches, some tech experts say.

The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that Google faces patent lawsuits for many of its services, including its Android mobile-device operating system, which has become a bigger target as its worldwide popularity has grown. It is unclear whether any current lawsuits pose a threat to future revenue generated by Google's new technologies.