Qualcomm has acquired a patent portfolio from Hewlett-Packard that includes 1,400 US-granted patents and 1,000 granted patents and pending patent applications from other countries. This includes the patents previously held by HP for Palm, IPAQ and Bitfone technologies.
The purchase price has not been disclosed, but the acquisition further strengthens Qualcomm's vast portfolio of mobile patents, many of which adorn the company's lobby wall in its San Diego headquarters.
What those patents actually cover is not known, simply that they fit into the chip manufacturer's existing collection of mobile technologies. The biggest benefit will most likely be for the companies that license Qualcomm technologies, it will be able to provide a wider gamut of licences without manufacturers having to pay additional third-parties.
As for consumer benefit, that remains to be seen. Perhaps by having all the patents under one roof, the cost of licensing will be reduced and therefore the reduction will be passed on to you. Or perhaps not.
What this also means for LG's webOS TVs, which use Palm patents, is unsure also. LG did not acquire the Palm licences when it bought webOS, but presumably it just means that its licence payments will transfer to the new owner.
UPDATE: Qualcomm has sent Pocket-lint a statement on its patent buyout: "The acquisition further enhances the strength and diversity of our industry leading mobile patent portfolio and will enable the company to offer even more value to current and future licensees," it says.
"The patents and patent applications acquired by Qualcomm in this transaction cover many different aspects and features of mobile operating systems (such as rejecting an incoming call with a text and using location as a trigger for reminders), as well as several other technologies used in mobile products such as smartphones and tablets.
"The technologies covered by these patents complement the technologies covered by Qualcomm’s existing patents, which include, for example technologies related to cellular and other wireless transmissions of voice and data, semiconductor design technologies, display technologies, and wireless charging technologies in addition to mobile operating system technologies."