Broadcom buys WLAN patents from Unova

Network and communication chip maker Broadcom Corp. has paid US$24 million for patents covering wireless LAN (WLAN) and other technologies from Unova Inc. of Woodland Hills, Calif., Unova announced last week.

The deal covered around 150 domestic and foreign patents covering wireless LAN, wireless communication, dual-radio access points, hierarchical networks, dynamically switchable power supplies and personal video recorders, according to a Unova statement. In addition to the cash payment, Broadcom will give Unova a royalty-free license to use technology covered by the patents in products manufactured at its Intermec Technologies Corp. unit.

Unova holds more than 700 patents, and its smart battery power management technology has been licensed to many major notebook computer makers, it said. Most recently it licensed the technology, which allows a computer and battery to communicate to regulate and save power, to IBM Corp. and during 2002 also concluded patent disputes over the technology with Dell Computer Corp., NEC Corp. and Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd.

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