Information Week is reporting here that Google is aiming to deter software patent trolls preying on startups.
Under its Patent Starter Program, a startup company agrees to license their patents to the other participants if the startup company's patents are transferred to a non participant (e.g. a patent troll).
Google has been targeted by "patent trolls" holding software patents, so this may offer some protection to Google and the other participants, although it may have an adverse impact on the value of the startup because their IP is encumbered.
Dennis Crouch has some interesting things to say about this here.