HP sells webOS operating system to LG Electronics

Mon Feb 25, 2013 1:48pm EST
 
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By Poornima Gupta

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Hewlett-Packard Co said on Monday it will sell the webOS operating system to South Korea's LG Electronics Inc, unloading the smartphone software it acquired through a $1.2 billion acquisition of Palm in 2010.

LG will use the operating software, used in now-defunct Palm smartphones years ago, for its "smart" or Internet-connected TVs. The Asian electronics company had worked with HP on WebOS before offering to buy it outright.

Under the terms of their agreement, LG acquires the operating software's source code, associated documentation, engineering talent, various associated websites, and licenses under HP's intellectual property including patents covering fundamental operating system and user interface technology.

HP will retain the patents and all the technology relating to the cloud service of webOS, HP Chief Operating Officer Bill Veghte said in an interview.

"As we looked at it, we saw a very compelling IP that was very unique in the marketplace," he said, adding that HP has already had a partnership with LG on webOS before the deal was announced.

"As a result of this collaboration, LG offered to acquire the webOS operating system technology," Veghte said.

Scott Ahn, President and CTO, LG Electronics, said the company will incorporate the operating system in the Smart TV line-up first "and then hopefully all the other devices in the future."

Both companies declined to reveal the terms of the deal.   Continued...

 
A Hewlett-Packard logo is seen at the company's Executive Briefing Center in Palo Alto, California January 16, 2013. REUTERS/Stephen Lam