Lenovo spending $100 million on patents

PC maker Lenovo has agreed to acquire a portfolio of patents from Unwired Planet for $100 million.

The intellectual property acquired by Lenovo includes 3G and LTE mobile phone technology “and other important mobility patents,” according to the two companies.

Jay Clemens, Lenovo’s general counsel, said in a prepared statement that the patents it is acquiring “will serve the company well as we grow and develop our worldwide smartphone and mobile PC Plus business in new markets.”

Lenovo, the world’s No. 1 PC maker, has been rapidly diversifying into other markets, including the smartphone market. Lenovo, which doesn’t currently sell smartphones in the U.S., agreed to buy the Motorola Mobility business from Google in January. That $2.9 billion deal will make Lenovo the No. 3 smartphone company and give it entree to U.S. consumers.

Nevada-based Unwired Planet was called Openwave Systems before it sold off its product lines and focused on exploiting its patent portfolio. Such companies are sometimes labeled “patent trolls” by critics.

Last year, Unwired, which is publicly traded, sued Apple and Google for patent infringement.

Lenovo is based in China but has a headquarters in Morrisville.