Lenovo Buys Mobile Tech Patents From NEC
The deal is part of Lenovo's larger strategy to expand its industry reach beyond PCs and fuel its server and smartphone efforts.Lenovo is buying thousands of mobile technology patents from NEC as it looks to expand its smartphone and tablet businesses. Lenovo is purchasing more than 3,800 patent families from NEC that cover such mobile technologies as 3G and 4G LTE, as well as other technologies found in such devices as smartphones, according to officials. The move is part of Lenovo's overall PC Plus business strategy as the company—the world's top PC vendor—looks to extend its reach into other computing system spaces, from data center servers to mobile devices. A series of patent legal battles over the past several years involving such vendors as Apple and Samsung have highlighted the need for companies in the mobile device space to hold a large portfolio of patents to protect themselves against infringement accusations. "A strong patent portfolio is a key element for success in the smartphone business," Ira Blumberg, vice president of intellectual property (IP) at Lenovo, said in a statement. "This investment strengthens Lenovo's existing intellectual property portfolio. As Lenovo expands its mobile PC Plus business into new markets, this investment shows it is committed to having the IP we need for global success."
Lenovo was a strong tech vendor in its native China when it bought IBM's PC business in 2005 for $.125 billion, a move that the company has since parlayed to overtake Hewlett-Packard to become the world's top PC vendor. In January, Lenovo officials announced their intent to buy IBM's low-end x86 server business for $2.3 billion, and a week later said they were buying Motorola Mobility from Google for $2.9 billion.