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Qualcomm Buys 2,400 Palm, IPAQ and Bitfone Patents from HP

Fri, 01/24/2014 - 9:57am
Ben Munson

Qualcomm will acquire 2,400 patents and applications related to mobile endeavors Palm, IPAQ and Bitfone from HP.

The portfolio consists of 1,400 granted and pending patents from the U.S. and another 1,000 from outside the company. The portfolio “covers technologies that include fundamental mobile operating system techniques,” according to a press release. The financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

HP acquired Palm in 2010 for $1.2 billion. At the time, the thought was that HP would lend its scale to helping build out the Palm ecosystem. HP eventually ended its efforts with Palm in 2011 and made Palm’s webOS mobile operating system open-source. LG bought webOS in 2013 and reaffirmed this year at CES its intentions to use the OS in its smart TVs.

HP bought Bitfone’s mobile device management solution in 2006.

Wells Fargo’s Maynard Um said in a research note that HP this fiscal year could be looking to divest “non-core assets” and that such a move might help strengthen the company’s cash balance.

Qualcomm makes a lot of chipsets for mobile devices but according to Forbes, the company still makes two-thirds of its profits from licensing wireless technology.

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