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HP grabs Palm (and all its patents) for a whopping $1.2 billion

Just recently, it seemed like Palm was utterly doomed. Despite releasing the Palm Pre and the actually-kinda-cool WebOS, Palm's stock was valued at zero, with no white knight in sight to buy up the company. Well, here comes HP to the rescue, with a plan to snatch up Palm -- and more importantly, Palm's patents -- for a massive $1.2 billion.

That $1.2 billion isn't just a big number, it's actually a few hundred million more than the roughly-$750 million price industry pundits put on Palm just a month ago. So what's with the sudden acquisition by HP? Well, with Apple and Google fighting it out in court over mobile patents -- Apple recently sued HTC over multitouch technology -- those Palm patents are looking mighty sexy now, as potential offensive or defensive weapons in any kind of mobile technology battle.

HP has the manufacturing muscle to launch into the mobile market, but it didn't have a decent OS or any patents to protect it from the current heavy-hitters in the market. Going into competition with Apple and Google without significant patents would have been like bringing a knife to a gunfight. And you'd better believe Palm has significant patents, with 15 years in the PDA/Smartphone market. In fact, that might be why Apple went after HTC instead of Palm over multitouch.

[via Engadget]
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Tags: acquisition, hp, mobile, palm, patents, webos