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Oracle.That’s according to a Reuters report this afternoon, which says that HP is looking to spin off the WebOS software it gained in its $1.2 billion purchase of Palm.
This seems really weird at first glance.
Oracle has no mobile business. Oracle and HP are bitter competitors — former HP CEO Mark Hurd went to work for Oracle after being ousted from HP, and the companies have tussled in court.
But Oracle could probably put its dislike of HP aside in order to put the hurt on another enemy, Google.
Palm had a lot of valuable mobile patents that HP now owns. Oracle is trying to sue Google for more than $2 billion over copyright infringement in Android — it basically wants to make Android so expensive that Google can’t afford to give it away any longer.
Adding the WebOS patent portfolio to its arsenal could help in this fight.
So don’t expect Oracle to suddenly enter the mobile phone or tablet business. This would be a patent buy, plain and simple.