Summary:

HTC said last week it will spend as much as $18.5 million to acquire Dashwire, a Seattle-based developer of mobile cloud software. While the deal underscores the growing importance of the cloud in mobile, it also highlights how valuable patents have become in the space.

People want access to all of their important content wherever they are on any device. The addition of Dashwire’s cutting-edge sync services and deep mobile cloud experience strengthens our ability to deliver these services in a more powerful way.

That’s HTC president Fred Liu last week announcing his company’s acquisition of Dashwire, a Seattle-based mobile cloud platform developer. The acquisition underscores the growing importance of the cloud in mobile, but as Boy Genius Report noted, it also highlights how valuable patents have become in the space. For example, Core Mobile Networks, which recently scored an investment from Citrix Systems, could be targeted for patent-pending technology that delivers cloud-based content with contextual relevance to mobile devices. Another potential acquisition is Blaast, a Finnish startup that seeks to leverage the cloud to bring smartphone-quality data services to feature phones, although that company has to reveal details of its technology.

Patents will drive substantial M&A activity — and plenty of lawsuits — as we increasingly lean on the cloud to access mobile data. For more thoughts on how patents are shaping the growth of the mobile cloud industry, please see my weekly update at GigaOM Pro.

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