Today’s battles between tech companies are won not by who has the best products, but by who owns the most patents, apparently. In this context, Lenovo bought 21 families of patents from Unwired Planet.
Lenovo already had a line of mobile products, even before buying Motorola Mobility from Google back in January. However, when that acquisition took place, the search giant stripped Motorola Mobility of about 17,000 patents, so the Chinese manufacturer had to create new technologies on its own or buy patents from elsewhere in order to bring innovation into its smartphones.
Jay Clemens, general counsel of Lenovo, stated that “This investment is an extension of Lenovo’s existing intellectual property portfolio. It will serve the company well as we grow and develop our worldwide smartphone and mobile PC Plus business in new markets.”
Philip Vachon, chairman of Unwired Planet’s board of directors and head of its intellectual property committee, expressed his excitement regarding this acquisition: “We are pleased to have reached an agreement with one of the world’s leading global technology companies. We wish Lenovo continued success going forward.”
In the recent past, Unwired Planet made itself a few important enemies, as it sued Apple and Google over 20 of its patents that had been used without a license by the two tech giants in the manufacture of their handsets. Considering that Unwired had the patents for 3G and LTE mobile technologies among the 21 families that it sold to Lenovo, it’s not difficult to believe that this company had solid reasons for suing Google and Apple. Now that Lenovo holds these patents, it will probably solve the problems with Google in a peaceful way, given their recent transaction.
Chinese technology company Lenovo Group Ltd will pay Unwired Planet $100 million in cash, and by all means, this is a small amount for a patent portfolio, considering the sums other companies have paid for such benefits. The deal is expected to be completed in 30 days. After that, it will be interesting to see what products Lenovo will launch based on the newly-acquired patents. Or maybe the Chinese company bought this patent portfolio to protect itself against lawsuits in the future, as this is also a strategy that companies buying patents have adopted in recent times.