Google buys wide-ranging patent portfolio from Asia

Aug. 24, 2013 at 10:35 AM
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MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Aug. 24 (UPI) -- Taiwanese firm Hon Hai Precision, also known as Foxconn, said patents it has sold to Google had a wide variety of uses.

In a deal with few details made public, Google has purchased a selection of Hon Hai patents that will help the U.S. technology innovator establish an early lead in production of wearable devices, such as Google Glass, The Financial Times reported Saturday.

The patents Google purchased were "commonly used in aviation and tactical/ground displays, engineering and scientific design applications, gaming and video devices as well as training and simulation tools," Hon Hai said.

Wearable mobile devices in development, which could open a wave of new product launches, include watches and eye glasses that communicate with wireless smartphones.

Apple is said to be developing an iWatch, the Times said. Google has been focused on glasses that display a screen in the upper periphery of a user's normal field of vision.

Korean electronics giant Samsung is also developing a watch that operates with a smartphone. Called the Galaxy Gear, Samsung is expected to unveil the device as early as next month, the Times said.

Hon Hai is known as one of the world's largest electronic assembly companies.

However, the company operates "a substantial amount of engineering development on their own," said Donald Boles, executive vice president at patent management consulting firm MiiCs Partners, which is advising Hon Hai on its patent holdings.

"They have a very substantial patent portfolio. They are more than just an assembler," Boles said.

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