Hewlett-Packard looking to sell mobile patents?


While our coverage has focused a lot on struggling BlackBerry and HTC, another company looking to turn its fortunes around is Hewlett-Packard. Still the world’s second-largest maker of personal computers, CEO Meg Whitman is trying to transform the company into one better suited for today’s markets. According to Bloomberg, HP is shopping its mobile computing patents around to improve its balance sheet.

Among the patents that HP is looking to sell are its webOS patents that it got when it acquired Palm Inc. in 2010. LG more recently licensed these patents and also bought the webOS source code. The purchase was made by LG’s TV unit with the intention of using the operating system in future TVs.

HP has reportedly approached potential buyers. None of these interested parties are named in this report though.

For its part, HP had little to say. “We don’t comment on rumor and speculation,” said Michael Thacker, a spokesman for the company.

Technology patent sales have proven lucrative in the past. Google bought Motorola for US$12.5 billion in part for its patents. 6,000 Nortel patents sold for US$4.5 billion to a consortium led by Apple and Microsoft. Even BlackBerry’s patents have been valued at as high as US$5 billion.

Source : Bloomberg