Hewlett-Packard Company Gets Rid of Dead Weight

Hewlett-Packard offloads some unwanted intellectual property, putting its botched Palm acquisition in the rearview mirror once and for all. Meanwhile, Qualcomm gets to play a little bit of defense.

Jan 26, 2014 at 5:00AM

Wireless chip giant Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) has agreed to acquire various phone-related patents from Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ), including intellectual property from Palm, IPAQ, and Bitfone. A large part of Qualcomm business is intellectual property and licensing, mostly around cell phones, so acquiring these will help beef up its already strong patent portfolio. The real story here, however, may be more about HP than about Qualcomm.

In this segment of Tech Teardown, Erin Kennedy discusses this transaction and Hewlett-Packard with Evan Niu, CFA, our tech and telecom bureau chief. Evan tells investors of reports late last year that HP was trying to sell off these mobile patents, and that CEO Meg Whitman has been really trying to focus HP on its core strengths and get rid of distractions. Evan notes that several of these patents definitely constituted distractions rather than core businesses. While the transaction probably won't bring in a lot of money, estimating less than $100 million, every little bit helps with a company like HP that is in full turnaround mode, and trying to save money.

See more in the following video.

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Erin Kennedy has no position in any stocks mentioned. Evan Niu, CFA, owns shares of Qualcomm. The Motley Fool owns shares of Qualcomm. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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