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Microsoft licenses patents for technology originally invented (but not currently owned) by Palm 13

by Jonathan I Ezor#IM Fri, 08 Oct 2010 6:02 pm EDT

According to multiple news reports, Microsoft has just agreed to license multiple smartphone-related patents (74 in all, according to the Wall Street Journal), including those involving technology created by Palm.

In fact, the Palm technology is being licensed to Microsoft not by Palm or HP but by Access Co., Ltd., the Japanese company that owns the rights to PalmOS after having acquired Palm spin-off company PalmSource in 2005. (Access' independence from Palm is notably clear in its having recently developed and marketed Graffiti handwriting technology for Android phones, as we reported in July.)

Microsoft's new licenses from Access, together with others obtained as part of the same deal from Acacia Research Corporation, may help Microsoft avoid or fight some of the ongoing smartphone-related patent suits being crossfiled all over the world. It is not clear, though, what implications this move by Microsoft may have for Palm itself. It is possible that, under the terms of the licenses and/or because of the original Palm/Palmsource relationship, Microsoft might be less likely or able to bring smartphone patent claims against Palm, and vice versa. It's certainly a safe bet, though, that Palm retains its own rights to use PalmSource-derived technology now owned by Access, regardless of the Microsoft deal. (PalmSource's patents can be seen on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office here.)

Sources: Wall Street Journal; InformationWeek (Thanks to Brian for the tip!)

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13 Comments

Gotta love licensing through MS

webos just passed 4,000 apps!

Hahaha absolutely nothing to do with the story but I love it anyway.

Uggh... Patents and licensing is enough to give everyone headaches.

Taking a license to a patent allows you to freely use the patented technology, not sue people.

Bring on the scumbags! Err...I mean slimeballs! Err...I mean lawyers!


=P

HP should really buy a company with an excellent suite of PIM applications and a healthy pot of patents...

Now, where to look? Where to look? Hmmmmmm...

How dare they, who do they think they are, Apple?

So I guess Brian beat me and notified Jonathan directly. I put up a post in the forum this morning. I thought I'd gotten a scoop. :(

i dont think any company would dare take on palm when it comes to mobile patents..

Especially now that they have HP's lawyers.

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it raises a question as to whether Plam / HP is using some of this technology currently? I mean if MS can see potential in this tech then so should Palm / HP! Surelly they should be exploiting every posible angle to put them ahead of the curve?!