Short Thoughts: HP, Palm and IP

Just read the news that Hewlett Packard (HP) has bought Palm for a rumoured $1.2 billion.

Even though this seems like a lot of money I think HP has snagged a bit of a bargain. Recent Palm shares were trading at 30% of their 52-week-high value, following the relatively meagre sales performance of the Palm Pre.

It also seems a shrewd strategic move with regard to intellectual property (IP). Palm likely has an extensive patent portfolio covering touch screen technologies and mobile devices, areas into which HP has recently moved. Considering Apple’s recent assault on HTC the acquisition of Palm will naturally beef-up HP’s portfolio allowing a more aggressive defensive or counter-claim if Apple come a-knocking.

A strong patent-portfolio will become important if HP looks to use webOS on the Slate and go head-to-head with Apple’s iPad.