Today, Fossil announced that it's agreed to sell $40 million of its smartwatch intellectual property to Google. The news is somewhat vague, only saying that a portion of Fossil's research and development team will also be joining Google, but not saying what IP this includes or how much of Fossil's portfolio is being sold off.
Greg McKelvey, Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy and Digital Officer of Fossil Group did imply that there will be new smartwatches in partnership with Google, saying the following:
“Fossil Group has experienced significant success in its wearables business by focusing on product design and development informed by our strong understanding of consumers’ needs and style preferences. We’ve built and advanced a technology that has the potential to improve upon our existing platform of smartwatches. Together with Google, our innovation partner, we’ll continue to unlock growth in wearables."
This seems very similar to when Google paid $1.1 billion for smartphone IPs from HTC. HTC has long been working with Google on its Pixel phones, despite getting minimal credit for it. If this is indeed a deal along the same lines, then Fossil might be making a Made by Google smartwatch.
Fossil said that this deal is expected to close this month.