HP sells webOS and iPaq patents to Qualcomm

Qualcomm has announced that it has obtained 1,400 US and another 1,000 foreign patents on webOS, iPaq and Bitfone from HP. HP retains a license to the patents. It is unclear how much Qualcomm paid for the acquisition.

It is unclear how many patents are involved. 1,400 US patents and 1,000 foreign patents have been sold, but an unknown number overlap. The patents partly relate to old concepts of the webOS platform, a platform now owned by LG. When LG bought webOS last year, HP still owned patents, which now become the property of Qualcomm. It is unclear what consequences this acquisition will have for LG. LG uses webOS for TVs, while it was originally built for smartphones.

Other patents transferred with this sale are even older and concern HP’s iPaq devices, the pocket PCs from around ten years ago that ran Windows Mobile and were originally developed by Compaq. These PDAs also ran software from Bitfone, software for managing the device, whose patents have now also been transferred to Qualcomm.

Qualcomm does not make telephones, tablets or PDAs, but mainly mobile processors. With the acquisition of these software patents, the company can offer ‘even more added value’ to its customers. Moreover, with this purchase, it could offer additional protection against patent-related lawsuits, with, for example, a possible counter-trial.

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