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Comments on: Apple Hints at Smartphone IP Battle to Come

In what could be interpreted as a hint of a legal battle to come, Apple's COO Tim Cook today made some possibly foretelling statements about iPhone competition and the broad series of patents Apple has secured around the iPhone platform. During todays Apple Inc. quarterly conference call he was asked specifically about smartphone competition and the Palm Pre and Android:

Q: "There are other iPhone competitors coming to the market: Android, Palm Pre. How do you think about sustaining leadership in the face of these competitors?"

A: "It's difficult to compare to products that are not yet in the market. iPhone has seen terrific rating from customers. Software is the key ingredient, and we believe that we are years ahead of our competitors. Having different screen sizes, different input methods, and different hardware makes things difficult for developers. We view iPhone as primarily a software platform, which is different from our competitors. We don't mind competition, but if others rip off our intellectual property, we will go after them."

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Great to see shields used as swords -- sucks for everybody

hgoldner @ 1/21/2009 4:33:40 PM # Q
Once again, a tech troll will seek to use IP law as a sword to destroy innovation, as opposed to a shield to protect an invention.

Look and feel be damned, we're going to patent how we use our fingers?

To hell with you Apple. Guess what my finger is doing now?

Harold

RE: Great to see shields used as swords - sucks for everybody
treo007 @ 1/21/2009 9:32:27 PM # Q
When the mighty Apple is retreating into lawsuit territory, you know you must be doing something right.

I'm shocked Apple is playing this card, this quickly. I love the idea of the Pre, but should Apple be reacting this way already?

If I'm Palm, I've never been so delighted to hear about to be sued.

Reply to this comment

Obviously...

Nycran @ 1/21/2009 4:48:21 PM # Q
Patent infringement was one of the first things that crossed my mind when I watched the multi touch support on the Pre demonstration.

Surely Palm were well aware of what they were doing and have researched this enough to be comfortable with defending any legal claims? Let's hope that there was significant prior art or some other weakness in Apple's patents.

Will be interesting to see how thing unfolds anyway.


RE: Obviously...
freakout @ 1/21/2009 6:06:11 PM # Q
Surely Palm were well aware of what they were doing and have researched this enough to be comfortable with defending any legal claims?

That's what I figured. Makes the most sense.

RE: Obviously...
pmjoe @ 1/21/2009 7:06:02 PM # Q
Multi-touch and those types of gestures are old news. Apple did not invent them. I haven't taken the time to read their patents so there may be certain things about their implementation that are novel (like when they talk about things like ignoring unintended touches), but multi-touch in and of itself is nothing new. I'd also be shocked if Apple is not infringing on some of Palm's patents.

In realty, very few of these things should be patentable in the first place.

RE: Obviously...
lobotomic @ 1/22/2009 2:36:43 AM # Q
I've stumbled upon some other patents awarded to Apple that make me smolder in outrage.

For example: a patent on using games to help learn the gestures. Sorry, Apple, the original Palm PDA had some sort of Text-Invaders game to help you learn the gestures for the Graphitti alphabet (and silly as it was, it was quite addictive). What are you patenting here? Using MODERN games to learn gestures? Please, sod off.

RE: Obviously...
Winterbay @ 1/22/2009 2:33:09 PM # Q
Patent law is full of stupid holes like that. There are for example some patents awarded to Proctor&Gamble that have been patented before (at least the wording looks strangely similar) and different patent officers seem to look at things in different ways.

Reply to this comment

Pirates

Gekko @ 1/21/2009 4:52:06 PM # Q
RE: Pirates
mikecane @ 1/21/2009 5:04:46 PM # Q
Gekko again displaying his abysmal knowledge of history.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQ6ng1_TMN4

The Xerox Star was demonstrated for Jobs at PARC. Jobs got GUI religion.

RE: Pirates
Gekko @ 1/21/2009 5:16:18 PM # Q

yeah, that's explained in the movie, genius.


RE: Pirates
Dawudd @ 1/21/2009 8:20:39 PM # Q
RE: Pirates
mikecane @ 1/22/2009 11:24:25 AM # Q
>>>yeah, that's explained in the movie, genius.

You REALLY expect people to sit through your YouTube links? Keep dreaming. And will you get some ointment finally for that damned itch?

RE: Pirates
akalefty @ 1/22/2009 11:52:45 AM # Q
Speaking of dreaming, it looks as though Tim Cook just rained all over Mikey's parade: no "iPhone Nano", no "OS X Web Tablet", no "iMacPodBook Air".

http://www.fastcompany.com/blog/kit-eaton/technomix/apple-officially-squashes-iphone-nano-and-mac-netbook-rumors

Maybe there's still hope for a "iPhone Shuffle": no display, and when you press the button, it calls a random contact from your address book. It's for people who like to talk, but don't care to whom. Sounds right up Mikey's alley.

RE: Pirates
mikecane @ 1/22/2009 12:03:36 PM # Q
Oh look who escaped from medical confinement! But I see, from the state of your text, that the thorazine hasn't been washed out of your system yet. Use water - not the Ripple you favor.

Of course, only *you* could MISinterpret simple statements Cook made to try to reinforce your delusions.

Like that Grand Delusion that ACCESS will still be around by the end of 2009.

Man, it must really really SUCK, seeing how Palm webOS kicked your ass.

RE: Pirates
akalefty @ 1/22/2009 12:19:40 PM # Q
only *you* could MISinterpret simple statements Cook made to try to reinforce your delusions.

Right. And then I somehow got a Fast Company writer to put together an article for me containing precisely those "misinterpretations" just to get your goat, is that it?

Like that Grand Delusion that ACCESS will still be around by the end of 2009.

Never confuse your personal neurotic pique with an ability to predict the future: your "prognostications" don't amount to anything more than childish wishing that Steve Jobs will take pity on your destitute state and give you a free toy of some sort, and that your enemies will all get run over by trucks. That's been quite clearly borne out by the outcome of my prior "Grand Delusion" that I'd still be employed by ACCESS by the end of 2008. As I am.

I suspect there's little doubt in the minds of onlookers who the delusional one here is...

RE: Pirates
Ervool @ 1/22/2009 12:28:56 PM # Q

To quote Jack Nicholson:

"Why can't we work out our differences? Why can't we work things out? Little people, why can't we all just get along?"

Cheers,


RE: Pirates
mikecane @ 1/22/2009 12:31:53 PM # Q
>>>I suspect there's little doubt in the minds of onlookers who the delusional one here is...

No, there isn't. But for the n00bs who might be confused, let's examine your mental health file again:

http://mikecane2008.wordpress.com/2008/10/21/apple-sells-10m-iphones-psychopath-increases-meds/

Using BOLD tags won't help you with this, you pathetic second-rate coding loser.

RE: Pirates
akalefty @ 1/22/2009 1:49:58 PM # Q
Using BOLD tags won't help you with this, you pathetic second-rate coding loser.

Heh. Are you actually laboring under the impression that this sort of "critique" of my programming skills, of all things, from an destitute, cholesterol-laden ignoramus is going to carry much weight with me....?

Like I said, delusional. Go back to French-kissing the front window at the Apple Store, Chuckles.

RE: Pirates
abosco @ 1/22/2009 4:21:44 PM # Q
Can we please stop talking about Access? They're useless and irrelevant.

-Bosco
m105 -> NX70v -> NX80v -> iPhone -> iPhone 3G
RE: Pirates
mikecane @ 1/22/2009 6:02:37 PM # Q
Access - when my tired eyes first hit that in your post, abosco, it read it as "abcess."

Yet, fits to a T, doesn't it? Especially fits their delusional soon-to-be-again-unemployed pom-pom girl of 1980s-level design skills.

Hey, where are all those devices running the ABCESS LINUX PLATFORM?

RE: Pirates
freakout @ 1/22/2009 6:09:11 PM # Q
Lefty, sometimes I get the sneaking suspicion that you *enjoy* coming here to thwack the hornet's nest... :)
RE: Pirates
akalefty @ 1/23/2009 6:36:01 AM # Q
Moi?

RE: Pirates
mikecane @ 1/23/2009 7:15:35 AM # Q
It's the only place he can get readers. His blog doesn't have any. Hence no updates since December!

iMacPodBookTouch AIR! (Pro!)
akalefty @ 2/9/2009 9:38:17 AM # Q
Mikey was predicting that a) ACCESS would be bankrupt and b) I'd be out of a job by the end of 2008. I noted the following on webwereld.nl with some interest in this context:

Other vendors are adding, not cutting, workers. For instance, Access Systems Americas Inc. in Sunnyvale, Calif., has about a dozen openings, including some for tech jobs. Access, which was previously known as PalmSource Inc., is the developer of the Garnet mobile operating system, formerly named Palm OS.

In a sign of the times, though, Access is getting significantly more applications for the open jobs than it did when the economy was in better shape. In the past, the company might have received 30 to 40 resumes for a single position, but it's getting between 60 and 70 now.

See http://webwereld.nl/internationaal-nieuws/54805/tech-jobs-forecast-mostly-gloomy-with-some-bright-spots.html

Want to predict the future? Ask Mikey what's going to happen. You can rely on him being 120 percent wrong. I guess there's something to be said for consistency...

RE: Pirates
akalefty @ 2/9/2009 9:39:16 AM # Q
Sigh. One little virgule.

Ryan, put me down as "hates that you can't edit postings here".

RE: Pirates
mikecane @ 2/9/2009 9:46:52 AM # Q
And HOW MANY devices is that Abcess OS on now?

ABCESS: The OS You Can't Haz.

Yeah, great marketing that! Or how about:

ABCESS: Iz Sikrit OS.

Hey, if 2008 didn't kill you off, 2009 is *sure* to exterminate you pests.

RE: Pirates
SeldomVisitor @ 2/9/2009 10:15:13 AM # Q
> And HOW MANY devices is that Abcess OS on now?...

One more than webos' underlying whatever-it-is?

- http://www.linuxpromagazine.com/online/news/sony_dsc_g3_camera_has_wi_fi_and_linux

Unlike WebOS - source is available already!

RE: Pirates
mikecane @ 2/9/2009 3:55:56 PM # Q
/ignore

RE: Pirates
akalefty @ 2/9/2009 5:40:04 PM # Q
Hey, if 2008 didn't kill you off, 2009 is *sure* to exterminate you pests.

Hey, good news for me! Looks like we're going to be rolling in dough at the end of the year!

Hey, speaking of dough, did you ever drum up enough cash to get your own iPhone, or are you still leaving puddles of saliva on other people's...? Go console yourself with some microwave pizza, chunky.


RE: Pirates
mikecane @ 2/9/2009 6:22:05 PM # Q
Chunky? You're slipping.

So far not a peep about Abcess devices from upcoming MWC. How odd that Samsung went with - excuse the gag reflex (gag as in choke, not as in ha-ha) - Symbian.

If you're going to be rolling in dough, it's only because with all your spare time you've hacked a lottery system somewhere.

Reply to this comment

Single-handed touch

mikecane @ 1/21/2009 5:05:50 PM # Q
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PBxQkgHWvmE

Poor video. Also links to a website where I guess there might be a better one.

Reply to this comment

Copy & Paste

pascanu @ 1/22/2009 1:32:15 AM # Q
So they have patented gestures for copy, cut & paste (see the drawings at tinyurl.com/aw9ypb) but they don't have a clue about how to actualy use them.

Handspring Visor -> m505 -> Zire71 -> Zire72 -> Treo650
Reply to this comment

Software is the key, eh?

freakout @ 1/22/2009 4:13:42 AM # Q
Software is the key ingredient, and we believe that we are years ahead of our competitors. Having different screen sizes, different input methods, and different hardware makes things difficult for developers.

Ha! Funny to read that, especially in light of Beersie's latest thoughts on just what webOS might mean for the desktop:

http://www.pikesoft.com/blog/index.php?itemid=214

...Palm has put themselves in an astonishing strategic position that I'm surprised no one is talking about. By building a system using de facto cross-platform standards like JavaScript, WebKit, Java and Jetty, Palm has made a great platform for creating companion applications that can run on any desktop—Windows, Mac, or Linux—leveraging the same code that runs on the handset. You won't see Apple being able to deliver iPhone applications to the desktop like that any time soon, at least not for the 90% of personal computer users that don't own Macs....

...The unfolding UI concept would be the key to making application screens that stack on the phone to display side-by-side in the familiar "master-detail" layout seen in applications like the original Palm Desktop and Microsoft Outlook. I blogged some thoughts about this idea way back in Sept 2005 in one of my very first posts, complete with a lame mock-up to illustrate. It's simple, really. Many, if not most mobile applications provide a "master" or "list" view of the data from which the user selects an item and then navigates to a screen that displays the details of the selected item with additional options for manipulating it. If these master and detail screens (or "cards" as Palm now seems to like calling them) are identified as having this relationship in the code by using an API that binds the selection in the master view to what is displayed in the detail view, all it takes to spread the stacked cards across a larger surface so they are viewable side-by-side is a little CSS. Making a desktop version of a webOS application might involve no additional coding at all, just some care to follow certain design guidelines.

In other (less brainy) words: Palm's web-based app approach will possibly allow them to port webOS "layers" on top on whatever they damn well please, and apps should port from Pre to desktop to Foleo-2 to whatever with little effort. webOS developers could potentially target a whole range of hardware in one shot.

You're "years ahead", Apple? Seems we're going to see that claim put to the test.

Tim
I apologise for any and all emoticons that appear in my posts. You may shoot them on sight.
Treo 270 -> Treo 650 -> Treo 680 -> Centro

RE: Software is the key, eh?
mikecane @ 1/22/2009 11:34:32 AM # Q
I went and read his entire post. And *there* is some of the reasons why I've been seeing Pre as something Totally Different. Why my first instinct was to cry "iPhone web apps!" but then I stepped back and had to say, "Hm, wait a minute!"

It also now gives some credence to what Ed Colligan stated at the intro but what made me gasp at as hubris and/or stupidity: That webOS would drive Palm for the next decade.

And what Beers has forgotten: the *entire OS* is by Palm, from scratch. They don't have to offer no frikkin desktop application/layer. They can take over the *entire desktop* - OS and all. Won't all those Linux people smile!

RE: Software is the key, eh?
freakout @ 1/22/2009 6:27:24 PM # Q
They *could* release their own Linux OS, but would they *want* to? If they just release desktop layers, they don't have to worry about all the headaches of being in the PC OS business. which I imagine would be many...
RE: Software is the key, eh?
mikecane @ 1/23/2009 7:04:49 AM # Q
Yes, that's most likely the way to do it. I left out the SO bit in the post on my blog. I figure Beers is the expert with that stuff. I just hope HE will do some Preware!

RE: Software is the key, eh?
mikecane @ 1/23/2009 7:05:37 AM # Q
*Obviously OS. First post of the day. Oy.

Reply to this comment

Apple is all BS

happyPalm @ 1/22/2009 11:39:20 AM # Q
did not Palm come up with the Pilot in 90's that have touch screen? The only thing apple has is the multi-touch.

They are scared. Rotten Apples.

RE: Apple is all BS
mikecane @ 1/22/2009 12:09:33 PM # Q
>>>did not Palm come up with the Pilot in 90's that have touch screen?

Not.

http://www.palminfocenter.com/view_story.asp?ID=3129

>>>In June 1992, [Jeff Hawkins] met future partner Donna Dubinsky for the first time and this is part of what transpired:

>>>To give her an idea of Palm's direction, Hawkins pulled out his Sony palmtop - a handheld computer that was only sold in Japan. About the size of a Walkman, it had a pen and a graphic interface; even in Japanese, it was easier to navigate than any current U.S. electronic organizers. It gave her the same tingle of excitement that she'd felt 12 years earlier at Dan Bricklin's demo of VisiCalc. "That's it!" she told Hawkins. "That's the next generation of computing. I'm sure of it!"

http://homepage3.nifty.com/Denemon/infocary.htm

RE: Apple is all BS
vorlon @ 1/22/2009 12:09:51 PM # Q
Apple did have stylus gestures in Newton, but the ringer switch and some phone & sms features are from Treos.

RE: Apple is all BS
jca666us @ 1/22/2009 4:13:46 PM # Q
I'm reading some stupid comments - apple did not patent multitouch hardware, and they didn't invent multitouch.

They have been awarded patents for lots of gestures and for their specific implementation of multitouch on mobile devices. Also, they own all of the multitouch patents from Fingerworks.

Palm's lawyers had best have all their i's dotted and t's crossed, but it's obvious that alot of copying has gone on.

If Apple has IP which Palm has infringed upon, then they need to pay.

RE: Apple is all BS
SeldomVisitor @ 1/22/2009 4:21:33 PM # Q
To this reader it's no "big deal". Apple owns some patents, Palm pays a license fee.

Same old, same old.

RIMM apparently owned smile keyboards. Palm paid up. Done.

Rinse and Repeat.

RE: Apple is all BS
hkklife @ 1/22/2009 4:44:39 PM # Q
As asked here before, does anyone know if RIM has the patent on miniaturized "smile" keyboards only? Or is it ALL mini/thumb keyoards, regardless of whether they are straight or smiling?



Pilot 1000->Pilot 5000->PalmPilot Pro->IIIe->Vx->m505->T|T->T|T2->T|C->T|T3->T|T5->Zodiac 2->TX->Verizon Treo 700P->Verizon Treo 755p->?

RE: Apple is all BS
SeldomVisitor @ 1/22/2009 4:51:52 PM # Q
I cannot answer that question with links to prove my answer, but some vague memory suggests the patent is one of the smile, not on the flat, layout.

Note the type of keyboard Palm has been pushing of late...

RE: Apple is all BS
hkklife @ 1/22/2009 5:03:00 PM # Q
"of late" ???
I really see it as a sort of scattered mixture of "smile vs. straight" depending on the device formfactor, intended users/customers, and price point

Palm's most recent smartphones: (in order of most recent appearance)

-Pre: smile (January 2009)

-Treo Pro: straight (August 2008)

-Treo 800w: smile (July 2008)

-Centro: straight (September 2007)

-Treo 500: straight (September 2007)

-Treo 755p: smile (May 2007)



Pilot 1000->Pilot 5000->PalmPilot Pro->IIIe->Vx->m505->T|T->T|T2->T|C->T|T3->T|T5->Zodiac 2->TX->Verizon Treo 700P->Verizon Treo 755p->?

RE: Apple is all BS
freakout @ 1/22/2009 6:55:00 PM # Q
As Precentral have noted, it probably wouldn't be particularly smart of Apple to get into a patent war with Palm, who themselves hold patents on a 'cradle for synchronizing data', 'Handheld computer system and method to detect and identify a peripheral device,' and for turning off the radio via software.

jca666us:
I'm reading some stupid comments

What, did you accidentally click onto your own comment history?

RE: Apple is all BS
jca666us @ 1/22/2009 7:18:56 PM # Q
Actually freak,

I was reading your comments - I was just being polite and didn't want to mention you by name.

However, getting back on track - I think Apple has no problem getting into a patent war with Palm - they have the cash to blow on some high powered lawyers - and can keep this tied up in the courts if they want.

Apple might just be looking at getting a licensing fee from Palm, however on the odd chance that they aren't, Palm could be revisiting old legal issues.

Before you start bring up Palm's IP regarding data synchronization and the like - recall that the Newton predated Palm.

RE: Apple is all BS
mikecane @ 1/23/2009 7:08:19 AM # Q
I don't think Apple would want Palm fleeing into the arms of a suitor - Nokia/MS (both, may God forbid!) - with an equally large lawsuit war chest.

I'm thinking that unlike other patents - which grant a 17-year exclusivity - things move so quickly in the digital world that the time period should be much abbreviated. Say, just three to five years.

RE: Apple is all BS
jca666us @ 1/23/2009 1:24:44 PM # Q
even at 3 to 5 years - palm is still infringing.

palm's previous demonstrations of innovation for the past few years - foleo, etc. - were junk.

then they hire an apple guy and all of a sudden they crap out an iclone in record time.

if apples ip is being infringed they should sue palm!

RE: Apple is all BS
mikecane @ 1/23/2009 5:48:31 PM # Q
>>>palm's previous demonstrations of innovation for the past few years - foleo, etc. - were junk.

The Foleo software was NOT junk. The Foleo GUTS were.

RE: Apple is all BS
jca666us @ 1/23/2009 6:35:59 PM # Q
Overall, the foleo was junk.

The software had good - but underdeveloped - ideas. The hardware WAS crap.

Still, without the ex-apple people working on the Pre, Palm would have nothing right now.

Reply to this comment

Palm shares fall on worries of Apple legal fight

Gekko @ 1/23/2009 6:22:01 AM # Q

Palm shares fall on worries of Apple legal fight
By: AFX | 22 Jan 2009 | 11:56 AM ET
Text Size

NEW YORK, Jan 22 (Reuters) - Shares of Palm Inc fell as much as 8 percent on Thursday as investors worried it could face a legal challenge from arch-rival Apple Inc related to Pre, Palm's upcoming touchscreen phone. Apple's Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook said late on Wednesday that his company would use all its weapons to fight anybody that "ripped off" its intellectual property. Some analysts said that could mean Apple will sue Palm over Pre's multi-touch interface, which lets users navigate a Web site by pinching their fingers together or spreading them apart on the phone's screen. Apple, which has been much lauded for its multi-touch feature in iPhone launched in the summer of 2007, was careful not to name a specific company in its comments, but several analysts saw them as a thinly veiled threat to Palm. "Palm is the first one that would spring to mind. You've got a new product with similar features to iPhone and you have executives leading the charge from Apple," said Avian Securities analyst Matthew Thornton. Thornton was referring to executives such as Palm's Executive Chairman Jon Rubinstein, who used to be top hardware engineer at Apple. Fred Anderson, now a director at Palm, was previously Apple's chief financial officer. However, Palm spokeswoman Lynn Fox said in an email that "Apple was not the first to do multi-touch." "Palm has been building its own intellectual property portfolio for 15 years, and we will defend it vigorously, if necessary," said Fox. Pre, which is based on a new operating system from Palm, is a highly-anticipated phone that analysts see as the company's only chance of fighting back against competition from Apple and other rivals, such as BlackBerry from Research in Motion Ltd . Palm shares were down 33 cents or more than 4 percent at $7.51 in late morning on Nasdaq after falling as low as $7.15 earlier in the session. (Reporting by Sinead Carew, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)

Palm investors worry Apple may get touchy over Pre
Gekko @ 1/23/2009 6:24:03 AM # Q

Palm investors worry Apple may get touchy over Pre
By: Reuters | 22 Jan 2009 | 03:46 PM ET
Text Size

NEW YORK - By Sinead Carew

Some Palm Inc investors are worried that its highly anticipated new phone, the Pre, may face a legal challenge from Apple Inc over touch-screen technology.

Apple Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook said on a quarterly earnings call on Wednesday that the iPhone maker would use all its weapons to fight any rivals that "ripped off" its intellectual property (IP).

"That could be a warning shot across the bow," Peter Strand, an IP specialist at law firm Shook, Hardy & Bacon said on Thursday.

Analysts said Cook's comments could mean that Apple is planning a legal case against Palm for when the Pre comes on the market in the first half of this year.

Specifically, the concern is that Apple could assert IP rights against Palm over Pre's multi-touch interface, which lets users navigate a website by pinching their fingers together or spreading them apart on the phone's screen.

The Pre, which also has a slide-out keyboard, was unveiled with much fanfare at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, more than doubling Palm's shares over about 6 days.

Palm shares were down 27 cents, or 3.4 percent, at $7.57 in afternoon trade on Nasdaq, after falling as low as $7.15 earlier in the session. Analysts said Cook's comments had weighed on the shares.

The retail price of the Pre has not been divulged.

Apple, which was careful not to mention a specific company in its comments, has been much lauded for the iPhone's multi-touch feature, launched in the summer of 2007.

"Palm is the first one that would spring to mind. You've got a new product with similar features to iPhone, and you have executives leading the charge from Apple," said Avian Securities analyst Matthew Thornton.

He was referring to Palm Executive Chairman Jon Rubinstein, who used to be a top hardware engineer at Apple. Fred Anderson, now a director at Palm, was previously Apple's chief financial officer.

Palm has a storied history in touchscreen devices. It is a pioneer of touch-controlled gadgets ranging from the Palm Pilot personal digital assistant to the Treo and Centro phones that allow consumers to manage data without using a keyboard.

"Apple was not the first to do multi-touch," Palm spokeswoman Lynn Fox said in an e-mail when asked to comment, adding that multi-touch has been around since the mid-1980s.

"Palm has been building its own intellectual property portfolio for 15 years, and we will defend it vigorously, if necessary," said Fox.

Pre, based on a new operating system from Palm, is a highly-anticipated device that analysts see as Palm's only chance of fighting back against competition from Apple and BlackBerry from Research in Motion Ltd .

"Palm, like Apple, has a rich heritage in touch technology," said JPMorgan analyst Paul Coster, adding that this may be a hotly contested area as "a lot of companies have intellectual property relating to multi-touch."

UBS analyst Maynard Um said that while Apple's comments seemed to be weighing on Palm investors' minds, they did not change his investment opinion on Palm so far.

"We don't have enough details about the technology from either Palm or Apple to tell if there is an infringement," he said. "It's a little premature to talk about because (Pre's) not even a commercial product yet."


RE: Palm shares fall on worries of Apple legal fight
SeldomVisitor @ 1/23/2009 6:36:10 AM # Q
Be careful about that Me-Too Media - they often get it wrong.

The sell-off could simply be (and probably is) traders exiting positions since the run-up has wound down - time to get back into cash and start looking around for the next Exuberance.

RE: Palm shares fall on worries of Apple legal fight
mikecane @ 1/23/2009 7:11:03 AM # Q
Gekko, it's enough to post a para or two and then a link. Ironic, ripping off IP about articles alleging ripping off IP.

The media always love drama like this. What they report is never what happens in phone calls between attorneys on both sides.

If Palm has patents they can make a case Apple is infringing, mutual licensing rather than a legal fight will prevail.

RE: Palm shares fall on worries of Apple legal fight
jca666us @ 1/23/2009 8:06:05 AM # Q
I wonder what that legal scholar Freakout has to say?

After all he thinks it's no big deal!

RE: Palm shares fall on worries of Apple legal fight
abosco @ 1/23/2009 8:11:36 AM # Q
Apple was not the first to do multi-touch.

Yes, that's correct. However, Apple bought the company that was, which means the IP is theirs. Anybody can see Apple has patents on touchscreen gestures, including multi-touch.

I think Palm screwed up. They don't have the resources for a legal battle. Meanwhile, Apple is still making a killing during a recession.

-Bosco
m105 -> NX70v -> NX80v -> iPhone -> iPhone 3G

RE: Palm shares fall on worries of Apple legal fight
mikecane @ 1/23/2009 12:03:17 PM # Q
abosco, you have no idea if Apple has been infringing on any Palm patents all this time. Palm did a lot of acquisitions since its birth. Only their lawyers know what's in all that paperwork. I doubt Apple will kill the Pre.

And if Apple does, oh boy, is that karma going to bite them to death.

RE: Palm shares fall on worries of Apple legal fight
mikecane @ 1/23/2009 5:49:32 PM # Q
A Lawsuit From Apple? No.
http://prepoint.wordpress.com/2009/01/23/a-lawsuit-from-apple-no/

Geez, get a grip. Learn how the world of business works.

RE: Palm shares fall on worries of Apple legal fight
abosco @ 1/23/2009 6:06:32 PM # Q
You're also forgetting that a lot of their software IP went out the door when PalmSource was spun off. That now belongs to Access. So what's left for Palm? A couple of vague hardware patents having to deal with syncing?

Apple will file suit within weeks.

-Bosco
m105 -> NX70v -> NX80v -> iPhone -> iPhone 3G

RE: Palm shares fall on worries of Apple legal fight
erazer @ 1/23/2009 8:29:29 PM # Q
The many key ex-Apple folks at Palm would not have blindly implemented the finger gestures and other stuff unless they were 100% sure that it was legally kosher. If Apple seriously had a case, they would not waste time flapping their mouths off but would shoot first and ask questions later. Rubinstein knows Apple inside out and it is a real stretch to think he would knowingly invite trouble for a company that is teetering on the brink.

RE: Palm shares fall on worries of Apple legal fight
jca666us @ 1/24/2009 5:20:21 AM # Q
They brought over software people and a finance person.

None that would know what Palm legally had access to.

Palm is gambling here - let's hope the gamble pays off for them.

RE: Palm shares fall on worries of Apple legal fight
freakout @ 1/24/2009 12:45:13 PM # Q
They brought over software people and a finance person.

Jon Rubinstein is not "software people". He's an engineer/executive. Former Senior Vice-President of the iPod division. Was instrumental in pulling Apple out of the crapper '97.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jon_Rubinstein

RE: Palm shares fall on worries of Apple legal fight
freakout @ 1/24/2009 12:50:26 PM # Q
Apple will file suit within weeks.

Let's wager, Bosco! Ten bucks!!

RE: Palm shares fall on worries of Apple legal fight
jca666us @ 1/24/2009 2:15:26 PM # Q
Two replies for the price of one:

>Jon Rubinstein is not "software people". He's an engineer/executive. Former Senior >Vice-President of the iPod division. Was instrumental in pulling Apple out of the >crapper '97. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jon_Rubinstein

Still, he is not a lawyer. That was my point - like everyone who reads up on this stuff, he knows what IP Apple has in their portfolio. However Apple has several billions of dollars ready to use to defend their IP while Palm barely has a pot to piss in.


>Apple will file suit within weeks.

>Let's wager, Bosco! Ten bucks!!

I'll take some of that.

RE: Palm shares fall on worries of Apple legal fight
freakout @ 1/24/2009 2:34:24 PM # Q
I'll take some of that.

No. You're an anonymous troll who I have no interest in. Beyond correcting your bullshit that is.

Bosco, though? Bosco's fun. And a real person.

RE: Palm shares fall on worries of Apple legal fight
jca666us @ 1/24/2009 5:33:59 PM # Q
I'm not a troll - just commenting where I see fit - if you can't put your money where your mouth is - it just indicates how weak you think Palm's position is.

Or you can't afford $10

RE: Palm shares fall on worries of Apple legal fight
abosco @ 1/24/2009 8:17:10 PM # Q
I don't understand why anybody thinks this isn't major IP theft. Apple holds patents specifically on multi-touch gestures. There are a whole boatload of them. Where are the comparable Palm patents?

They don't have them. Your claim is based on, "Palm wouldn't do it if they thought Apple would sue." My claim is, "Palm did it HOPING Apple wouldn't sue."

Apple holds a lot of multi-touch patents. You can read them yourself; they're really not that difficult to understand. And if you can show me a multi-touch gesture patent by another company that predates Apple's, then I'll understand where you're coming from. Until then, you're simply hoping Apple doesn't sue.

-Bosco
m105 -> NX70v -> NX80v -> iPhone -> iPhone 3G

RE: Palm shares fall on worries of Apple legal fight
twrock @ 1/25/2009 12:33:27 AM # Q
Rubinstein knows Apple inside out and it is a real stretch to think he would knowingly invite trouble for a company that is teetering on the brink.

Ahh, it's become so clear now. Rubinstein is an Apple mole, directly sent by none other than Steve himself to kill Palm off by exposing them to massive litigation. Brilliant!


"twrock is infamous around these parts"
(from my profile over at Brighthand due to my negative 62 rep points rating)
RE: Palm shares fall on worries of Apple legal fight
akalefty @ 1/25/2009 6:08:12 AM # Q
Sigh.

Speaking as someone who's managed technology portfolios, and who's worked for both Apple and Palm, I can say-fairly definitively, I believe-that no one here has even the slightest idea what they're talking about.

First off, to bring a patent infringement suit, there'd have to be some concrete and demonstrable evidence of that infringement to show a court. A tape of a demonstration at a conference surely won't suffice here, so there's probably little Apple could possibly do prior to a device actually being made available on the market.

Second, for a patent to stick, you have to show a variety of things, among them that's it's truly original-i.e. that there's no prior art, which might be difficult here-and that it's truly applicable-something which can't be determined, as nearly as I can tell, without a shipping device in hand.

Third, there was no particular mention of Palm or the Pre in any of the statements made, that's an assumption-probably one created in a farirly calculated way by Apple-to which people have leapt. It seems easily as likely that this might well be a veiled reference to the numerous iPhone clones being manufactured in Asia, which are pretty clear "rip-offs" of Apple's IP.

Fourth, companies like Apple don't have patent portfolios to put other companies out of business: they have them for licensing and cross-licensing, both defensively and offensively. As has been noted (and as I can personally affirm) Palm has a not-insignificant portfolio covering a variety of aspects of touchscreen-oriented handheld devices itself. It wouldn't surprise me in the least that the iPhone infringed, arguably at least, on several of those. If Apple were to sue Palm over multitouch, the outcome would almost certainly be a trading of licenses for various patents, possibly with some cash attached-and I'm making no assumptions here on who might be more incented to provide cash to whom-in order to remedy the situation.

(Just as an example: the "stroke of genius", something which goes back to extremely early versions of Palm OS, is a "gesture". It predates any of Apple's uses of gestures. If a decent argument can be made-and my opinion is that it can-that Apple's uses of gestures are "obvious to one skilled in the art" based on Palm's prior work, then all of Apple's patents relating to gestures may well be invalid. Having been granted a patent does not guarantee its validity: patents get overturned all the time...)

These fantasies about Apple buying Palm or putting Palm out of business over some perceived "infringement" are just that. There's no substitute for actually knowing what you're talking about.

(And, Mikey, in case you're concerned about the time it took me to put this together, let me point out that it's 6 am on Sunday morning, and I can do whatever I please today. Happily, I'm not in a position where I have to go out on weekends looking for empty soda cans to trade in for their deposits, unlike some...)

RE: Palm shares fall on worries of Apple legal fight
mikecane @ 1/25/2009 12:15:32 PM # Q
>>>(And, Mikey, in case you're concerned about the time it took me to put this together, let me point out that it's 6 am on Sunday morning, and I can do whatever I please today. Happily, I'm not in a position where I have to go out on weekends looking for empty soda cans to trade in for their deposits, unlike some...)

Well, the soda cans are Gekko's income these days. And he'll sue you for infringement, so stay near your highway underpass.

And thanks for basically saying everything I've said. But with more words. As if that helped.

RE: Palm shares fall on worries of Apple legal fight
freakout @ 1/25/2009 2:55:01 PM # Q
These fantasies about Apple buying Palm or putting Palm out of business over some perceived "infringement" are just that. There's no substitute for actually knowing what you're talking about.

Like that ever stopped the Internet! ;)

RE: Palm shares fall on worries of Apple legal fight
jca666us @ 1/27/2009 5:43:38 PM # Q
Oops...looks like apple has just been awarded an extensive multitouch patent:

http://www.macrumors.com/2009/01/26/apple-awarded-iphone-and-multi-touch-patent/

RE: Palm shares fall on worries of Apple legal fight
akalefty @ 1/28/2009 7:27:39 PM # Q
It's one thing to get awarded a patent, and it's another thing to successfully defend it. Prior art is a killer, and there's plenty of prior art around both gestural interfaces and multitouch. Bill Buxton, a longtime researcher in the field, has put together an excellent http://www.billbuxton.com/multitouchOverview.html">overview of the timeline of these technologies.

It's interesting to note, for example, that the "pinching" gesture so associated with the iPhone was first described more than 25 years ago...

RE: Palm shares fall on worries of Apple legal fight
hkklife @ 1/28/2009 7:35:55 PM # Q
Lefty, can you tell us a little something about the new Sony Cybershot DSC-G3 running ALP Mini? Is the browser on it really NetFront-based? Anything similarly ALP-powered you comment on at this time?

Thanks!

Pilot 1000->Pilot 5000->PalmPilot Pro->IIIe->Vx->m505->T|T->T|T2->T|C->T|T3->T|T5->Zodiac 2->TX->Verizon Treo 700P->Verizon Treo 755p->?

ALP on the Sony DSC-G3
akalefty @ 2/9/2009 6:11:38 PM # Q
I can't tell you anything more than what's already been published: there's a pretty thorough review (of a pre-production unit, admittedly) on DigitalCameraInfo.com (http://www.digitalcamerainfo.com/content/Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-G3-Digital-Camera-First-Impression-Review-19782/Components.htm) Yes, it uses NetFront.

Given that MWC is this week, I'd suggest you keep an eye on the press releases coming out of ACCESS and the LiMo Foundation.

(This is a good opportunity to point out that ACCESS is a mobile device software company, not simply a cell phone software company... We get paid the same either way...)

RE: Palm shares fall on worries of Apple legal fight
SeldomVisitor @ 2/10/2009 5:36:47 AM # Q
RE: Palm shares fall on worries of Apple legal fight
mikecane @ 2/10/2009 6:15:24 AM # Q
/ignore

Apple Stopped Multitouch on Android, Alleged Google Source Says
Gekko @ 2/10/2009 7:45:34 AM # Q

According to Ventura Beat, an Android team member says that Apple asked Google not to use multitouch in the G1, or else. Obviously, they complied. Their alleged source said that Google had plenty of reasons:

http://i.gizmodo.com/5150354/apple-stopped-multitouch-on-android-alleged-google-source-says

RE: Apple Stopped Multitouch on Android, Alleged Google Source Sa
freakout @ 2/10/2009 1:12:58 PM # Q
If that's true, Google has far less balls than I thought. Man up, Google!

Oh, and this quote:

Even if Apple ultimately decides not to pursue legal action against Palm (it's not yet clear how likely that is, but Apple does have an impressive array of patents), the situation has likely soured the relationship between the two companies.

is a little strange. What 'relationship'? If there ever was one, it died when Apple became a direct competitor.

RE: Palm shares fall on worries of Apple legal fight
akalefty @ 2/11/2009 12:44:13 PM # Q
Apple and Google have a pretty incestuous relationship, and—assuming this story is accurate, which is never safe—this seems more an effort to "keep peace at the dinner table" than any evidence of the iron-clad nature of Apple's patents.

As mentioned previously, Apple seems to think that they can patent a gesture which was (to the best of anyone's knowledge) described as long as a quarter of a century ago; if the actual inventor had bothered to patent it (something that would have likely been impossible to accomplish at the time), it'd be in the public domain now. The fact that some examiner agreed with them just shows that his search of the prior art was not as comprehensive as it could have been.

I don't think you'd even need a lawyer to get that one overturned. Showing up the day of the hearing with a copy of the book wherein the "pinch" was initially described would, I'd imagine, be plenty.

RE: Palm shares fall on worries of Apple legal fight
freakout @ 2/11/2009 1:50:22 PM # Q
Must have misinterpreted it - I thought that paragraph was referring to a relationship between Apple and Palm.
RE: Palm shares fall on worries of Apple legal fight
akalefty @ 2/12/2009 5:12:53 AM # Q
I wasn't referring to the most-recently quoted paragraph, but to the report that Google had left multitouch out of Android at Apple's insistence.

RE: Palm shares fall on worries of Apple legal fight
abosco @ 2/12/2009 10:39:49 PM # Q
Palm is granted patents. "That's all well and good."
Apple is granted patents. "The patent attorney must have been inebriated and slow."

Yes, I'm sure they do no research. Maybe then I can ask you - where is the prior art for the pinch on an input device? Because that is what is patented.

-Bosco
m105 -> NX70v -> NX80v -> iPhone -> iPhone 3G

RE: Palm shares fall on worries of Apple legal fight
freakout @ 2/13/2009 2:44:10 AM # Q
where is the prior art for the pinch on an input device?

First, let's define "prior art". Wikipedia says:

Prior art (also known as state of the art, which also has other meanings), in most systems of patent law, constitutes all information that has been made available to the public in any form before a given date that might be relevant to a patent's claims of originality. If an invention has been described in prior art, a patent on that invention is not valid.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prior_art

According to Bill Buxton, the pinch has been demonstrated before:

1983: Video Place / Video Desk (Myron Krueger)
*His use of many of the hand gestures that are now starting to emerge can be clearly seen in the following 1988 video, including using the pinch gesture to scale and translate objects: http://youtube.com/watch?v=dmmxVA5xhuo


1991: Digital Desk (Pierre Wellner, Rank Xerox EuroPARC, Cambridge)
*Clearly demonstrated multi-touch concepts such as two finger scaling and translation of graphical objects, using either a pinching gesture or a finger from each hand, among other things.

1992: Starfire (Bruce Tognazinni , SUN Microsystems)
Bruce Tognazinni produced an future envisionment film, Starfire, that included a number of multi-hand, multi-finger interactions, including pinching, etc.


http://www.billbuxton.com/multitouchOverview.html


RE: Palm shares fall on worries of Apple legal fight
PacManFoo @ 2/13/2009 5:29:02 AM # Q
1983 !?! What was he pinchin', his Radio Shack Tandy?

I know if I "pinched" a square hole in the other side of my 5.25" floppies that I would get double the space.


The last known classic PDA user.

RE: Palm shares fall on worries of Apple legal fight
akalefty @ 2/13/2009 11:03:31 AM # Q
As I've been saying.

So, everyone still feel Apple's got an iron-clad lock on all that cool multitouch stuff...? (If Krueger had gotten a patent on the "pinch" gesture, not that he'd have gotten that by the USPTO in 1983, it'd have expired in 2000...)

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Who's got the patents for multi-touch?

twrock @ 4/16/2009 8:29:26 AM # Q
From the "well, at least I thought it was interesting" category, maybe Apple won't be the one suing Palm for multi-touch, since Apple's already being sued for that by someone else: http://tinyurl.com/cup9nz
Go figure.

Hey Palm! Where's my PDA with Wifi and phone capabilities?
RE: Who's got the patents for multi-touch?
SeldomVisitor @ 4/16/2009 8:47:41 AM # Q
I thought this was already discussed somewhere around here?

Whatever, the NEXT company in line to be sued by that same entiiy is...

From the recipient's POV, who does the suing doesn't matter much (except for their deep pockets, of course).

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