Palm Sued Over PDF Technology Dispute
San Rafael based Artifex software has brought a suit against Palm Inc. in the U.S. District Court for northern California. The company claims Palm Inc. infringed on its copyright for its PDF rendering engine which is used in webOS.
Artifex is the developer and copyright owner of muPDF, a high-performance PDF rendering engine targeted at mobile devices. The company alleges that Palm improperly integrated muPDF in the Palm Pre's "PDF viewer" application without Artifex's authorization and in violation of the GPL.
The muPDF software is available under the GPL or a commercial license. Artifex's main dispute claims that Palm has not bought a commercial license. The company claims Palm's own documentation admits including Artifex's muPDF in Palm's Pre product as the PDF rendering engine in their PDF viewer application, but Palm neither obtained a commercial license from Artifex nor complied with the terms of the GPL.
"Artifex makes the choice simple for those who copy Artifex software for distribution: Comply with the terms of the GPL, sign an OEM license agreement with Artifex, or do not distribute our software," says Miles Jones, president of Artifex Software.
Palm's webOS PDF viewing application ships standard on both the Palm Pre and the Palm Pixi. It even includes a default document which details Palm's open source technologies and related information. In addition, Palm maintains an open source portal where users can view and download the source code and patch files for many open source webOS components including the PDF viewer in question.
Thanks to Slashdot for the tip.