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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

HP Palms 'Doomed' Cellular Company, Patents

HP acquired Palm for a whopping $1.2 billion - far more than what experts valued the cellphone company a few months back. However, HP acquired far more than just the company's infrastructure; HP also got Palm's patents, including WebOS.

Apple recently sued HTC over multi-touch technology, leaving experts wondering why they did not (also) file suit against Palm. Apple COO, Tim Cook, had already made a direct, though veiled, reference to doing so, back in 2009. While the lack of a lawsuit made Palm a little better an acquisition, its market value was still well below $1 billion, but it could well be that the "experts" made a mistake - after all, Palm has been in the industry over 15 years, and may have the patent portfolio Apple fears. Palm noted over 1650 patents in its last annual report.

With the acquisition of Palm, and especially WebOS, it appears HP is throwing its hat into the mobile ring, and with Apple and Google tied-up in court, HP just might have a shot at the belt. However, Microsoft claims to have patents applicable to HTC phones, but has entered into a licensing agreement with the Taiwanese firm, allowing them to use the technology.

© C Harris Lynn, 2010

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