Qualcomm beefs up patent portfolio from Palm's ashes

The move will strengthen Qualcomm's continued mobile endeavors from HP's failed Palm project, which closed in mid-2011 after poor sales.
Written by Zack Whittaker, Contributor
Image: CNET

Qualcomm announced Thursday the acquisition of 1,400 patents and applications from HP, specifically from the computing giant's failed Palm smartphones and tablets division.

Broken down, the total number of patents accounts for about 1,000 patents and 400 patents pending that "covers technologies that include fundamental mobile operating system techniques."

Few other details were offered by the mobile-focused chipmaker. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Smartphone firm Palm was acquired by HP in 2010, but the webOS mobile platform and supporting smartphones and tablets, including the semi-popular Palm Pre, were discontinued a year later.

Qualcomm said in the release:

"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."

The San Diego-based chipmaker may be best known for developing the Snapdragon processor, a powerful chip designed by British firm ARM, for smartphones and tablets. Variants of the Snapdragon processor can be found in the Nokia's Lumia range of smartphones, the Samsung Galaxy S4, and the Google Nexus 5, among dozens of other devices and tablets.

As of late, Qualcomm has also ventured into the wearables business with the Toq (pronounced "tock") smart watch. 

Despite far from acting like a fully-fledged smartphone, it was reported by sister-site CNET that the company was not trying to directly venture into consumer electronics but wanted to "make a statement about what we think features and characteristics of successful wearable computing [are] going."

Editorial standards