Lenovo agreed to pay $100 million to acquire and license patents from Unwired Planet as it further boosts its credentials in the mobile market following its earlier deal to acquire Motorola Mobility from Google.
The Chinese smartphone and PC maker will purchase a portfolio of patents from Unwired Planet and take a term-based licence for other patents held by the company, which was formed around the intellectual property of what was previously Openwave Systems.
The patent portfolio to be acquired includes 21 patent families, including those for 3G and LTE technology, as well as “other important mobility patents”. The licensing side of the deal includes standard essential, implementation and application layer technology for mobile devices.
Jay Clemens, general counsel of Lenovo, said the investment “will serve the company well as we grow and develop our worldwide smartphone and mobile PC Plus business in new markets”.
Unwired Planet will be left with around 2,500 issued and pending US and foreign patents once the transaction is closed.
Earlier this month, Unwired Planet International (a subsidiary of the main company) filed lawsuits in the UK and Germany against Samsung, Huawei, Google and HTC for alleged patent infringement.
The lawsuit filed in the Patent Court of the High Court of Justice in London covers six UK patents for wireless communication technology in mobile devices, including 2G, 3G and 4G standards and push notification technology used by the Android ecosystem.
The suit filed in the District court of Dusseldorf concerns the equivalent German patents.
Philip Vachon, chairman of Unwired Planet, said the company is committed to licensing patents under fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory licensing principles “without litigation whenever possible”.
“Our goal has been, and remains, to license each of these parties in 2014 at these rates. However, we have determined that enforcement is necessary at this time to expedite ongoing discussions, establish a concrete timeline for resolution and, if necessary, to demonstrate the value of a small sample of our expansive and diverse patent portfolio of over 2,600 patent assets through formal and visible means,” he said.