Hewlett-Packard Seeking Buyers For Its Mobile Patents
According to Bloomberg, HP is trying to find potential buyers for its portfolio of mobile patents including those related to WebOS, the smartphone and tablet OS that HP acquired when it bought Palm Inc. in 2010 for US$1.2 billion.
Bloomberg sources familiar with the patents state that "in recent months, Hewlett-Packard has removed some restrictive conditions that made the patents unattractive to buyers. That made the patents more appealing to prospective buyers, and more likely to fetch a higher price."
HP acquired Palm in 2010 and launched its WebOS 3.0-based tablet, the HP TouchPad, in 2011, but after lackluster sales, the company discontinued the tablet and killed its entire webOS hardware division just a few months later. These days, HP relies on Windows and Android for its tablet needs.
It's hard to imagine anyone buying the patents and releasing any webOS-based hardware (especially after HP made the core WebOS operating system open source) but earlier this year, HP did successfully license some WebOS patents to LG. It's unknown how the sale of those patents would affect HP's deal with LG.