HP has had a rough time in the mobile space over the last few years. After spending more than a billion dollars to acquire Palm and its webOS software, the company killed its webOS hardware division just months after launching the HP TouchPad tablet.
These days HP is banking on Windows and Android for its tablet needs… but according to Bloomberg, the company may be trying to squeeze a little more money out of the intellectual property related to webOS.
HP is reportedly looking for buyers for some of its mobile patents, including patents related to webOS.
That doesn’t necessarily mean that we’ll see other companies released webOS hardware anytime soon — although that could happen. The core webOS operating system is now open source, and LG acquired much of the code and development team earlier this year, possibly for use on smart TV devices.
But at a time when electronics and software companies aren’t shy about suing one another, patents covering the way mobile software behaves can be a good thing to have. It can give companies bargaining power to help prevent lawsuits… or to bring them against other companies.
It can also help smooth the way for bringing some of the features included in webOS to other software platforms.
At this point it’s not clear who might be interested in buying the patents or what they’d do with them — HP hasn’t even publicly confirmed that they’re for sale. But theoretically the move could generate a bit of revenue for HP while the company completes the transition from webOS to Android and Windows.