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Restless PC biz Lenovo blows $100m to gobble 2,500 mobe tech patents

What else can we do besides laptops and desktops, mulls Chinese goliath

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Lenovo has inked a patent deal which looks to expand the company's reach into the mobile computing world.

Wireless intellectual property broker Unwired Planet said it will take $100m in cash from the Chinese electronics giant in exchange for about 2,500 "issued and pending US and foreign patents" covering wireless broadband and mobility technology.

"This investment is an extension of Lenovo's existing intellectual property portfolio," Lenovo general counsel Jay Clemens said in a statement [PDF] released by the two companies.

"It will serve the company well as we grow and develop our worldwide smartphone and mobile PC Plus business in new markets."

According to Unwired Planet, the 2,500 documents are being grouped into a collection of 21 patent families. Among the areas covered in the portfolio are 3G networking, LTE wireless broadband systems and other unspecified mobile technology patents. The deal is expected to close within the next 30 days.

The tech gobble will reinforce Lenovo's handheld business after it obtained Motorola Mobility from Google in a $3bn acquisition deal/asset dump-off last year. The Mountain View advertising firm passed along Motorola's hardware to Lenovo but kept its patent holdings to help stave off current and future litigation surrounding the Android platform.

With a fresh new set of patents in hand, Lenovo (2013: $34bn revenues, $635m net income) will look to continue its march into the smartphone world.

The company became a major player in that arena when it landed Motorola and will operate from a position of strength in the PC market. Additionally, the company's strong presence in China could provide a leg up in one of the world's fastest-growing mobile hardware markets and allow a Lenovo phone business to operate for years before it even enters US and European markets. ®

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