MobileInfocenter

TealOS Forced Into Early Retirement

TealOSPalm Inc. has apparently taken issue with TealOS, the webOS lookalike application for Palm OS devices, and has requested the programs permanent removal. In a post to the Tealtalk support forum, a TealPoint representative delivers the news:

I'm sorry to say that at Palm's request, as of this upcoming Monday, March 30, we will no longer be selling or distributing TealOS.
We really appreciate the help and unprecedented enthusiasm so many of you have shown for this product. It's been a long time since we experienced this kind of customer cooperation, and the program's success came at a badly needed time. We wish we could continue contributing to this great community.

Assuming the above information is correct, TealOS will vanish from TealPoint's site on March 30th. All existing users and customers are encourage to download the latest beta release (currently v1.43) while they still can.

Update:
A TealPoint rep has confirmed the news. He states that Palm asked them to stop distributing the program, claiming infringement, but refused to go into any specific details. TealPoint suggested numerous alternatives but was told none were acceptable. Under polite but firm pressure, TealPoint agreed to remove the program to preserve an agreeable relationship with Palm.

Thanks to WyreNut for the tip.

Article Comments

 (71 comments)

The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. PalmInfocenter is not responsible for them in any way.
Please Login or register here to add your comments.

Start a new Comment Down View Full Comment Thread

WHOWOULDAGUESSED!?

SeldomVisitor @ 3/27/2009 10:35:55 AM # Q
That's funny.

Truly funny.

Someone copied someone's look-and-feel and they didn't appreciate it.

Giggle.

Reply to this comment

A great opportunity to open-source some source code, huh?

SeldomVisitor @ 3/27/2009 10:47:51 AM # Q
Giggle.

Reply to this comment

Revisiting the intro

SeldomVisitor @ 3/27/2009 10:57:10 AM # Q
> "...I think Palm is considering their options RIGHT NOW about how to
> quash this. Because if it was THAT easy to mimick the UI so thoroughly it'll
> be THAT easy to mimick the actual "underlying functionality".
>
> We'll see - I'm impressed with the speed of this particular TealOS
> development (shocked, actually). I won't at ALL be surprised at the
> Windows Mobile version (there's yer multitasking!) nor at how fast some other
> developer comes out with a data-mining app for it..."

- http://www.palminfocenter.com/comments/9700/#150164

The other comments under the same article are amusing...

Reply to this comment

This Is Truly Sad

SFO_TXUSR @ 3/27/2009 11:52:47 AM # Q
This application truly brough new life to my Palm Centro, which is probably why Palm is reacting in this manner. Palm really should concentrate on delivering the Pre and not worry about TealOS. If the Pre and WebOS are as good as everyone claims, than this application will not really matter, in the long run.
RE: This Is Truly Sad
SeldomVisitor @ 3/27/2009 12:23:18 PM # Q
> ...If the Pre and WebOS are as good as everyone claims, than this
> application will not really matter, in the long run.

Ahhhh...

Reply to this comment

why

linds @ 3/27/2009 11:57:07 AM # Q
Please tell me why, Someone actually is making there devices better, which in turn could help them sell more devices. Sure they are going to EOL all Palm OS devices soon but still, just doesn't make sense to me at all. (says an angry palm fan)
RE: why
SeldomVisitor @ 3/27/2009 12:22:13 PM # Q
Because it would be competition to their line of devices, especially as soon as someone wrote the data-mining application (or someone copied this onto a multi-tasking OS like Android or WinMob).

RE: why
rlauzon @ 3/30/2009 6:19:52 AM # Q
If a WebOS-looking application launcher that only works on old hardware, running an out-of-date OS is "competition" for the Pre, I have to question how good the Pre will be.
RE: why
SeldomVisitor @ 3/30/2009 6:38:30 AM # Q
Not necessarily competition for the Pre, but for the NEXT device.

RE: why
hkklife @ 3/30/2009 7:40:29 AM # Q
With the NEXT device still (IMHO) looking to be something to both replace the Centro on the entry-level (but with better margins) and compliment the Pre, Palm's gotta strategize very carefully. So I forsee a Centro 2 (or whatever) running WebOS but probably without wi-fi, GPS, the slider formfactor and likely mated to a slower CPU. Such a device would then arguably be less appealing to power users than the existing Centro, thus making perfect sense for Palm & Sprint's plans to quickly EOL the Centro and squash WebOS.

I'll not be surprised in the least if by the end of this summer, Palm will be trying to make us forget that Garnet exists anymore, just like they did with Graffiti 1 six years ago and like how they've done with their handheld line more recently.
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->?

Reply to this comment

Just like Palm

rmhurdman @ 3/27/2009 12:49:49 PM # Q
It's just like Palm to shoot themselves in the foot by punishing their partners. It's been obvious since "no backward compatibility with PalmOS" that they don't value their developer community.

First Palm didn't think Apple could make a better phone. When Apple came out with a better phone, Palm didn't think Apple could get a developer community. Now that Apple has a developer community, Palm is trying to shut down TealOS. This cannot have a happy ending.

RE: Just like Palm
2klbs @ 3/27/2009 1:52:18 PM # Q
rmhurdman wrote:
It's just like Palm to shoot themselves in the foot by punishing their partners. It's been obvious since "no backward compatibility with PalmOS" that they don't value their developer community.

First Palm didn't think Apple could make a better phone. When Apple came out with a better phone, Palm didn't think Apple could get a developer community. Now that Apple has a developer community, Palm is trying to shut down TealOS. This cannot have a happy ending.

Sad but predictable.

While it would have been a great opportunity for Palm to turn a blind eye to this and make it an opportunity to preview the "feel" of the new OS, if not the functionality, as well as perhaps give a 2nd chance of the disgruntled Palm OS legacy community to warm to a possible upgrade, and perhaps even prevent some of the fabled "Osbone Effect" on their existing FrankenGarnet hardware stock, they've taken this route.

*sigh* Continued alienation will only accelerate the extinction of the "old" Palm ecosystem.
End of Contract with Sprint- to become a "Pre-vert" or go Android?

RE: Just like Palm
justauser @ 3/27/2009 2:30:29 PM # Q
Oh come on now. Apple did the same thing by pulling iPhoney and others prior to iPhone release (and a lot more agressively)

TealOS was cheeky. We all knew it would be axed sooner or later. That's why I registered early.

RE: Just like Palm
SeldomVisitor @ 3/27/2009 3:23:17 PM # Q
I grabbed the beta when I read the story - never know when yer gonna get an old PalmOS phone...

Not the Same Thing at All
2klbs @ 3/27/2009 7:43:30 PM # Q
justauser wrote:
Oh come on now. Apple did the same thing by pulling iPhoney and others prior to iPhone release (and a lot more aggressively)

TealOS was cheeky. We all knew it would be axed sooner or later. That's why I registered early.

At the risk of taking this too seriously:

I don't know if you're speaking of the Win Mob skin that parroted the iPhone interface, or the developer application that emulates the IPhone Safari web browser, but neither really compare to this silliness.

The first was an attempt to put a proprietary interface on another company's branded device. TealPont is a developer that has had a history of enhancing the functionality of Palm's own devices and feeding the "Palm Economy" going back to the days of my first Pilot in 1997.

There's a deeper hypocrisy in this: The iPhone didn't start as an "open" device, and it arguably still isn't. The original Palm OS, from from 1.0 all the way up to the last iteration of FrankenGarnet, has owed it's longevity to the army of developers and tinkerers that expanded the device's utility.

The very efforts by those behind the 50k+ Palm OS applications and hardware iterations was not only encouraged by Palm and the one of the foundations of the business model that's got them to this point, but it's the essence of what's kept the device still functional and worth staying with for many of us, despite Palm's continued mis-steps in every device rollout and OS update since then.

Whatever success or failure the Pre turns out to be, this seemingly trivial action speaks volumes for the lack of goodwill Palm seems to be exhibiting to a loyal user and developer base.
End of Contract with Sprint- to become a "Pre-vert" or go Android?

RE: Just like Palm
bhartman34 @ 3/27/2009 11:42:12 PM # Q
My first reaction was to see this as a mind-bogglingly bad move on Palm's part. I still think it's a bad move, but I don' think it's necessarily completely irrational. It's not about TealOS. It's about Apple.

TealOS isn't WebOS, except superficially, and TealPoint's relationship has been much more beneficial to Palm than any losses from people buying TealOS could ever be.

The problem is this: Palm has to defend its intellectual property. If they don't, legally, they've set a precedent, and any company can argue that Palm has abandoned its relevant patents. A lawyer could possibly argue that since Palm didn't oppose the TealOS software, they can't retain patent rights to WebOS. This kind of thing happens a lot in trademark law, which is why "xerox" is now commonly used as a verb.

I think it was a stupid thing for Palm to do, but I think I understand why they did it.


Even if they didn't lose the patent rights completely, they run the risk of some company changing it just enough to get by.

RE: Just like Palm
justauser @ 3/28/2009 1:01:28 AM # Q
2KLBs wrote "...but neither really compare to this silliness

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

Looks like exactly the same silliness to me. You have a very short memory. Apple was all over the net with "cease and desist" letters early 2007 for all sorts of copycat apps soon after the announcement of the iPhone.

iPhone is released and imitation now is flattery. Before its release imitation was potentially damaging. Same with Pre.

RE: Just like Palm
mikecane @ 3/29/2009 8:49:16 AM # Q
RE: Just like Palm
twrock @ 3/29/2009 1:48:04 PM # Q
It's hard to argue the "legality" of something until it goes to court and goes through all appeals, etc. Up until that point, you just have a threat of legal action (C&D letter), and you have to decide for yourself if you want to stand and fight or just give in.

In the case of iPhony, the best I could figure out was that it used the actual iPhone icons which were supposedly copyrighted. But the threat from Apple was strong enough that the author decided not to try to work around Apple's threats by changing all the icons (which is a lot of work for a guy who was just having some fun). On the other hand, I did "create" alternate icons in the xPhone skin and never heard anything from Apple about it. (http://www.1src.com/freeware/fileinfo.php?id=1891) Maybe they never figured out where to send the letter. On the other hand, for some reason that skin just disappeared from the website for no apparent reason and I had to re-upload it. If I was a conspiracy theorist.... ;-)

At a minimum, Apple is vigorous with threats to defend its IP. I'm still curious if they will attempt to do anything to Palm when the Pre is released. They don't have to be "right" to sue Palm, just willing.

"twrock is infamous around these parts" (from my profile over at Brighthand due to my negative 62 rep points rating)

RE: Just like Palm
justauser @ 3/29/2009 3:45:27 PM # Q
I vaguely recall Silver Screen had a Mac skin ages ago that used their icons and this also was also pulled due to legal threats - it could have been rumour though.
RE: Just like Palm
akalefty @ 3/30/2009 12:10:45 AM # Q
If they don't, legally, they've set a precedent, and any company can argue that Palm has abandoned its relevant patents.

You're confusing patents and trademarks. A trademark must be defended or it can be considered to be "abandoned". This is not the case with either copyrights or patents.

RE: Just like Palm
bhartman34 @ 3/30/2009 4:57:23 AM # Q
Patents are also subject to the concept of abandonment.

RE: Just like Palm
akalefty @ 3/30/2009 11:26:54 AM # Q
Yes, but not under the sorts of circumstances described.

An invention can be considered abandoned if no attempt is made to publicize it "within a reasonable time". A patent, or a patent application, can be considered abandoned if the required USPTO fees aren't paid, or if it's expressly declared to be abandoned by the inventor.

The situation previously described applies to trademarks, not patents. The obligations on a patent holder are to correctly disclose the method and best-known practices for making/using a given invention, not to defend the patent in the way that a trademark must be defended at the risk of losing it.

Your suggestion that something could be "changed just enough" is also pretty sketchy: if a modification to a patented invention could be considered to be "obvious to one skilled in the art"-a fairly low bar-then the modified invention likewise constitutes an infringement on the original patent.

RE: Just like Palm
akalefty @ 3/30/2009 11:37:29 AM # Q
A lawyer could possibly argue that since Palm didn't oppose the TealOS software, they can't retain patent rights to WebOS.

As noted, this argument could be made, but the likelihood of success is zero.

This kind of thing happens a lot in trademark law, which is why "xerox" is now commonly used as a verb.

Xerox is still a trademark, as are Kleenex" and "BandAid". People may use those terms in a generic way, but a company making a dry-process copier definitely can't refer to it as a "xerox machine", nor can a company selling tissues refer to them as "kleenex", nor can a company making adhesive bandages refer the them as "bandaids".

The best-known examples of actual inadvertent abandonment of a trademark are probably that of the trademark "Zipper" by the B.F. Goodrich Company, and that of "Aspirin" by the Bayer Company. Wikipedia correctly defines abandonment of a patent as "relinquishment by an inventor of the right to secure a patent, in such a way as to constitute a dedication of the invention to public use." See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abandonment

RE: Just like Palm
akalefty @ 3/30/2009 11:41:59 AM # Q
Oh, and for a perfectly parallel trademark situation, Palm was enjoined from calling their devices "Palm Pilots" following a 1998 lawsuit from the Pilot Pen Co. We certainly never stopped people from calling Palm PDAs "Palm Pilots", but we couldn't call them that any longer.
RE: Just like Palm
hkklife @ 3/30/2009 12:03:49 PM # Q
Yup, I see it pretty much every week or two. Someone "not in the know" calls any mobile device with a small QWERTY keyboard a "Blackberry", even if it's a Treo, WinMob device etc.

Anything that's thin with a big screen is an "iPhone". And anything that uses a stylus is still a "Palm Pilot".

Funny how Palm initially called the first handheld just the "Pilot", then the 2nd generation devices were "Palm Pilots" for just 12-18 months at most, before we started the "Palm III" , "Palm V" etc nomenclature. Yet "Palm Pilot" in particular was for some strange reason indelibly burned into the collective consciousness of the late 90s business world. I remember many, many people calling the Palm V the "Palm Vee" and still hear the occasional Treo mispronounciation as "Tray-oh".
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: Just like Palm
2klbs @ 3/30/2009 4:25:07 PM # Q
What a difference 2 days make. I was reminded over the weekend what it means to be outside of "cloud" coverage, or even have a land line to recover from a device failure. 'makes me consider again the lack of card slot on Pre for back-up and recovery, but that's another story.

To reply Justauser, my memory isn't bad, and I wasn't intending to open a debate on Apple or Palm's defense of IP with copyright and trademark law, but Lefty did a better job than I could have parsing the nuances.

My point was that Apple didn't start with, and still doesn't have, the open and collaborative relationship with its developers that Palm owes much of its support in the marketplace to. I still contend Apple's C&D letters to a developer for a competing hardware device differs greatly in spirit and execution to Palm's treatment of a developer with which it previously closely collaborated, going back not only to its early days as a company, but even through the Foleo debacle.

Although I can get my mind around what I think Hkklife's point is to the possible cannibalization of a lower-end "Centro II" WebOS device, I have to ponder if WebOS will really be "all that", what worry Palm would realistically have to fear from TealOS

In any case, as MikeCane sagely points out, perhaps there is a place for TealOS to quietly live out Garnet's last days on a Swedish server.

Last, anyone see the latest rumor on sister site Mobility Beat on rumors of April 30 "Pre-release"? http://palmwebos.org/
End of Contract with Sprint- to become a "Pre-vert" or go Android?

RE: Just like Palm
bhartman34 @ 3/30/2009 4:47:05 PM # Q
akalefty:

Thanks for the correction vis a vis patent law and "abandonment". In light of that, it makes less sense to me why Palm did what it did, but it still makes some.

Your suggestion that something could be "changed just enough" is also pretty sketchy: if a modification to a patented invention could be considered to be "obvious to one skilled in the art"-a fairly low bar-then the modified invention likewise constitutes an infringement on the original patent.

Actually, depending on how you define "just enough", this kind of thing happens all the time in the pharmaceutical industry. Company A has a drug with a certain structure, and Company B comes along and adds something to the structure (e.g., a benzine ring). They then apply for a new patent on that structure. Hell, pharmaceutical companies do it to their own drugs, when their patents run out and they want to get another easily patentable drug.

Now granted, I don't know how that would translate in the software world, but I could imagine scenarios that are analogous. Look at the Apple v. Microsoft decision, in its particulars.

RE: Just like Palm
hkklife @ 3/30/2009 4:51:19 PM # Q
The April 30th date has been debunked:

http://www.appscout.com/2009/03/twitter_creates_then_kills_bog.php

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: Just like Palm
akalefty @ 4/1/2009 4:01:24 AM # Q
...depending on how you define "just enough"...

This gets into an area which is pretty complex, but for those who want to dig deeper, there's a principle in patent adjudication called the "all-elements rule", which says that in order to prove infringement of a claim in a patent, the plaintiff must demonstrate that the allegedly infringing invention includes every single element of that claim. So, depending on how the original pharmaceutical (in your example) was specified, it's not necessarily a slam-dunk that adding a benzene ring does or doesn't consititute an infringement on the original patented drug. (This is why you don't want to ever attempt writing your own patent, and why patent attorneys make pretty good money.)

Of course, it's not an issue of how I define it, but how a judge would define it. Lawyers like to point out that there's no such thing as "facts", there's only "evidence".

RE: Just like Palm
abosco @ 4/1/2009 5:18:08 AM # Q
akalefty wrote:
(This is why you don't want to ever attempt writing your own patent, and why patent attorneys make pretty good money.)

Last year, I came up with a clever idea for remote controls. It wasn't a new technology, but rather a unique and useful combination of old ideas that created something new. I've had some IP training and I've done plenty of technical writing, so I thought, "How hard could it be?"

Hot damn. Even the shortest patent is like deciphering Hieroglyphics. I'll stick to engineering.

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

RE: Just like Palm
twrock @ 4/1/2009 8:17:04 AM # Q
hkklife wrote:
The April 30th date has been debunked:

Yes, it is a bit hard to believe, but then again.....
http://palmwebos.org/2009/03/29/jim-van-responds-to-palm-pre-rumors/
Ahh, rumours, rumours, so much fun.


"twrock is infamous around these parts" (from my profile over at Brighthand due to my negative 62 rep points rating)

RE: Just like Palm
hkklife @ 4/1/2009 11:12:56 AM # Q
That stuff is utter B.S., IMHO. Ron, I am surprised you would even consider it as being true!

Couple of things about this "Jim" guy:

1. If he and/or his firm were doing Pre beta-testing, there would obviously be NDAs issued and to blatantly violate them would be sheer idiocy. We've SEEN the wrath of Palm's legal dept. at work before!

2. Palm would not release Pre into the field for beta-testing and "forget" to issue an NDA. This is the device that may save or sink the company!

3. EVERYTHING he has stated about the Pre is either impossible vague or can be gleaned from reading through the various CES & MWC impressions/photos/videos.

4. He "promised" to produce screen captures but could have easily posted the ROM/hardware revision numbers (as in "Palm WebOS v. 1.xxxxxxxxx, Hardware Rev. A")

5. He Tweeted that the Pre goes for 8 hours of "mixed usage" on a single 1150mAh battery and is still "going strong"? That feeble battery is already is a huge shortcoming for the Centro and 800w. And the Pre has a larger, higher-resolution screen, more RAM, and a faster CPU that will be busier with the devices? Add to that the rigors of a true multi-tasking/multi-threading OS than either of those Palm devices (or the iPhone for that matter)? And it has wi-fi and GPS to deal with that the Centro does not? Please!

I'd place much more faith in the 'Dell is buying Palm' rumor than "Here are the first hands-on impressions of the Pre". That Jim guy has said absolutely nothing of worth that wasn't previously known. He's just trying to get some free publicity for his IT firm and drum up his own 15 mins of fame. Besdies, beta-testers aren't usually privvy to info like release dates or pricing.
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: Just like Palm
twrock @ 4/1/2009 10:37:17 PM # Q
hkklife wrote:
That stuff is utter B.S., IMHO. Ron, I am surprised you would even consider it as being true!

LOL. What? I shouldn't take ol' Jim seriously? Yes, of course it's just someone blowing smoke.

But then again, what if the Pre really does get released by the end of this month. Ol' Jim will be sitting pretty, saying "I told you so." It's a classic play. TVOR used to play it beautifully. :-)

"twrock is infamous around these parts" (from my profile over at Brighthand due to my negative 62 rep points rating)

Reply to this comment

Look at Teal's downloads - so many Foleo apps!

zuhmir @ 3/27/2009 9:38:23 PM # Q
I didn't realize till now how much they lost because the Foleo failed to launch...
ShortCircuit, SudokuAddict, TealBackup, TealDiet, TealDoc,TealMover, TealPaint, TealSafe, TealTracker. All Foleo software available to download, but for who?


Reply to this comment

Revolting Palm Inc behavior

VampireLestat @ 3/27/2009 9:52:03 PM # Q
Typical Palm, bash those few companies that still support them.
Yet another self-destructive action by a company that increasingly deserves to be forced out of the market.
RE: Revolting Palm Inc behavior
VampireLestat @ 3/27/2009 9:57:08 PM # Q
I am now less likely to get the Palm Pre, no matter how good it claims to be. Part of a purchase decision is choosing to buy from companies that support/respect consumers and developers, not gouge/control/threaten them.

To me, Microsoft seems to be the overall best mobile solution company.

RE: Revolting Palm Inc behavior
VampireLestat @ 3/27/2009 10:52:31 PM # Q
UPDATE: After reading this article, I realized Palm will never change. I just ordered an HP iPaq 610c unlocked,WM6,GPS,cam,wifi,bt,etc for 479$cdn.
This officially takes me out of the list of potential Pre buyers.
I want to thank Palm for threatening Teal as it has made my decision to upgrade from my Treo 680 ahead of schedule.
RE: Revolting Palm Inc behavior
VampireLestat @ 3/27/2009 11:25:48 PM # Q
correction 910
RE: Revolting Palm Inc behavior
twrock @ 3/28/2009 1:16:56 AM # Q
VampireLestat wrote:
To me, Microsoft seems to be the overall best mobile solution company.

Really? If I was buying today, I'd go with Apple before an MS solution.

Along that line, I stopped in at the Apple store today to ask about some of the Chinese functionality. Seems like they are getting close to providing the solutions I need, at least in that department. They even suggested that a Zhuyin input system would be released this summer. Cool.

But there are also quite a few Android devices in the pipeline right now. In the end, I'm more likely to go with the open solution, out of principle if nothing else. I love all these companies fighting for their chunk of the mobile device space. It means the options are greater and the innovation faster.

"twrock is infamous around these parts" (from my profile over at Brighthand due to my negative 62 rep points rating)

Reply to this comment
Start a New Comment Thread Top View Full Comment Thread
Achtung! Only the first 50 comments are displayed within the article.
    Click here for the full story discussion page...

Account

Register Register | Login Log in
user:
pass:

Latest Comments