HP has approached potential buyers about the mobile portfolio of patents, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private.
The intellectual property includes those related to WebOS, the smartphone and tablet-computer operating system that Hewlett-Packard bought through its 2010 acquisition of Palm Inc., which it later wrote down.
Hewlett-Packard has removed some restrictive conditions that made the patents unattractive to buyers, said two people who have reviewed the portfolio. That made the patents more appealing to prospective buyers, and more likely to fetch a higher price, these people said.
LG Electronics Acquires webOS from HP to Enhance Smart TV
LG to License HP IP, Integrate webOS Technology into Next-Generation Devices
SEOUL, Korea, and PALO ALTO, Calif. -- LG Electronics Inc. has acquired the webOS operating system technology from HP, the companies announced today.
To support its next-generation Smart TV technology, LG has entered into a definitive agreement with HP to acquire the source code, associated documentation, engineering talent and related websites associated with webOS. As part of the transaction, LG also will receive licenses under HP’s intellectual property (IP) for use with its webOS products, including patents acquired from Palm covering fundamental operating system and user interface technologies now in broad use across the industry.
Today’s announcement paves the way for continued innovation on the webOS platform and on LG’s roadmap of innovative solutions for many years to come, while allowing HP to focus its resources on strategic business opportunities such as cloud computing.
“This groundbreaking development demonstrates LG’s commitment to investing in talent and research in Silicon Valley, one of the world’s innovation hotbeds. It creates a new path for LG to offer an intuitive user experience and Internet services across a range of consumer electronics devices,” said Skott Ahn, president and chief technology officer, LG Electronics Inc. “The open and transparent webOS technology offers a compelling user experience that, when combined with our own technology, will pave the way for future innovations using the latest Web technologies.”
Ahn explained that LG Electronics’ investment in webOS technology and its acquisition of the innovation team’s R&D capabilities are expected to extend LG’s leadership in bringing Internet services directly to consumer electronics devices. “Integrated with LG, this team will be the heart and soul of the new LG Silicon Valley Lab, focused on bringing innovative technology solutions to market through the most popular platforms for sharing and consuming content and experiences,” he said. With the transaction, LG will add the Sunnyvale and San Francisco sites to its global R&D locations, in addition to its existing U.S. sites in San Jose and Chicago.
Also under the agreement:
- LG will assume stewardship of the open source projects of Open WebOS and Enyo.
- HP will retain ownership of all of Palm’s cloud computing assets, including source code, talent, infrastructure and contracts.
- HP will continue to support Palm users.
“WebOS and its associated community deliver market leading platforms for the next generation of connected devices. We are constantly looking for opportunities to accelerate the delivery of this platform from the community,” said Bill Veghte, HP’s chief operating officer. “LG’s track record of innovation and broad distribution provides this opportunity, while enabling HP to accelerate our Cloud efforts. In particular, with the cloud assets that will remain with HP, we will focus on delivering innovative solutions that will enable our enterprise customers to mobilize their workforce.”
HP and LG do not expect this transaction to have a material impact on either company’s financial statements. Terms were not disclosed.
About LG Electronics USA
LG Electronics USA, Inc., based in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., is the North American subsidiary of LG Electronics, Inc., a $45 billion global force and technology leader in consumer electronics, home appliances and mobile communications. In the United States, LG sells a range of stylish and innovative home entertainment products, mobile phones, home appliances, commercial displays, air conditioning systems and solar energy solutions, all under LG’s “Life’s Good” marketing theme. LG is a 2012 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year. For more information, please visit www.LG.com.
About LG Electronics, Inc.
LG Electronics Inc. (KSE: 066570.KS) is a global leader and technology innovator in consumer electronics, mobile communications and home appliances, employing more than 93,000 people working in over 120 operations around the world. With 2012 global sales of $45 billion, LG comprises four business units – Home Entertainment, Mobile Communications, Home Appliances, and Air Conditioning & Energy Solutions. LG is one of the world’s leading producers of flat panel TVs, mobile devices, air conditioners, washing machines and refrigerators. For more information, please visit www.LGnewsroom.com.
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