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is beefing up its intellectual-property efforts with the opening of a new licensing center in Singapore.

The Asia Pacific center represents the company's first major foreign branch office of its IP licensing division, created in 2004 to generate increased value from H-P's rich trove of patents, copyrights and other intellectual property.

Joe Beyers, H-P's vice president of intellectual property and licensing, described the new Asia Pacific center as a "launchpoint" for enhanced discussions with companies in the region. According to Beyers, the newly formed Asia Pacific team has already inked a licensing deal with an Indian company and is evaluating about 50 other potential opportunities for technology licensing with companies in the region.

H-P owns roughly 30,000 parents worldwide, and was the third-largest issuer of new patents in the U.S. in 2005, according to the company.

Beyers said the licensing unit has generated more than $200 million in value for H-P since its inception. That value includes everything from licensing royalty revenue to product discounts garnered in exchange for licenses and relief from liability.

The division identifies intellectual property that could be of value to other companies and negotiates deals with those that are interested in licensing the technology. The team also looks for companies that may be infringing on H-P's IP and encourages them to take a license, a process that can lead to litigation.

In March, rival computer maker



announced it would

pay H-P $47 million to resolve various patent-litigation claims .

The Asia Pacific Center will have five full-time members operating in Singapore, where H-P already has a significant presence, including legal support.

The new center will initially focus on Singapore, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, India and China, with plans to expand into other countries in the region as business needs arise. The team will focus on a broad range of technology areas, including semiconductors, consumer electronics, networking, software and storage.

Beyers said there was no current plan to open a similar outpost in Europe at this time.