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Qualcomm buys up Palm patents from HP

Mobile chip maker Qualcomm is to take over almost 2,500 patents from HP, picked up from its acquisition of Palm

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Mobile software

Qualcomm has struck a deal with HP to buy a number of its mobile patents.

The mobile chip maker has agreed to buy approximately 2,400 patents – 1,400 granted patents and pending patent applications from the US and approximately 1,000 of the same from other countries – but the price was not disclosed.

The only details revealed about the patents were they “covered technologies that include fundamental mobile operating system techniques” from HP’s Palm, IPAQ and Bitfone portfolio.

HP gained a huge amount of intellectual property (IP) when it bought Palm in April 2010 for $1.2bn. However, despite efforts to launch new hardware and keep the WebOS alive, sales were low and HP seemed unable to catch customer interest.

Controversial HP CEO Leo Apotheker announced in 2011 that HP would ditch both the smartphone and tablet ranges, and although his successor, Meg Whitman, reversed many of his decisions, she never committed to reviving the Palm legacy.

Today’s announcement is the final nail in the coffin for the HP and Palm tie-up, but with the baton being passed to Qualcomm, there could be a future for the mobile software side.

A statement from Qualcomm said: “The acquisition further enhances the strength and diversity of Qualcomm Incorporated’s industry-leading mobile patent portfolio and will enable the company to offer even more value to current and future licensees.”

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