Fossil has been a strong adopter of the Wear OS platform. Google has been struggling to figure out what to do with that platform after seeing its traditional diversified tech partners fall away from the software for their smartwatches.

Will old dog Google be able to learn new tracks from Fossil? The watch maker has sold some of its intellectual property and research and development division for $40 million of the search giant’s money. The company plans on retaining more than 200 R&D employees as the deal closes before February.

Nearly all of Fossil’s 14 brands it manages, including Kate Spade and Michael Kors, has a Wear OS watch in their line ups — perhaps the largest peg supporting sales of Google-branded watches.

Early last year, Google spent $1.1 billion to acquire more than 2,000 hardware engineers from HTC, a longtime smartphone partner for Android.

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