Qualcomm has found itself in the center of a rather big piece of news, announcing that it has agreed to buy up a sizable amount of Palm, iPAQ, and Bitfone patents from HP. The total number of granted and pending patents being exchanged in the deal comes to a total of 2,400 – 1,400 from the US alone and another 1,000 from other areas of the world. Qualcomm said in its announcement that these patents “cover technologies that include fundamental mobile operating system techniques.” From the wording of the news release, it looks like Qualcomm is planning to license a lot of these patents, which is hardly a surprise considering its position within the mobile phone arena. Of course, we can probably count on Qualcomm utilizing at least a few of these patents itself, but specific plans for the newly acquired portfolio were absent from the announcement.
This purchase probably comes as a relief to HP as well, since it’s one more step in the sell-off of the Palm purchase it made in 2010. The rights to webOS went to LG in a sale last year, and now this leaves Qualcomm in control of a large number of the patents that were left over once HP got rid of the failed mobile operating system. LG has since turned webOS into an operating system for smart TVs, so any folks holding out for the return of webOS-based smartphones might want give up on that hope. The sale will also be putting a bit of cash in HP’s pocket, which has been struggling lately. Exactly how much money did HP take home after the sale? We don’t know. The announcement didn’t make the terms of the sale public, so we’ll have to wait until one of those companies is ready to share details. It’s worth noting that HP paid a total of $1.2 billion for Palm, so these patents (and the sale of webOS) would have had to come with a fairly steep price tag for the company to make its money back. We’ll be keeping our eyes peeled for additional details about this purchase, so keep it here at Android Headlines for more.