New York Times has an interesting article about that:
Many of the lawsuits Google is facing carry little weight. Yet it has a vested interest in fighting all of them, even those of questionable merit, and seeing that they are resolved quickly. In part, this is because any lawsuit that reaches the discovery, the pretrial fact-finding phase, poses the danger of revealing too much about Google’s proprietary technology. Google also has an interest in establishing a solid body of legal interpretation in its favor.
Google has been known to settle cases. But in general it mounts a vigorous defense, Mr. Goldman [director of the High Tech Law Institute at the Santa Clara University School of Law in California] said. "If they get sued, they turn the tables on the plaintiff and file motions to get the upper hand in the case," he said.