Since Apple’s fourth quarter earnings call, when Tim Cook said “we like competition, as long as they don’t rip off our IP, and if they do, we’re going to go after anybody that does,” the blogosphere has been abuzz with speculation that Apple may soon file a patent infringement suit against Palm.
Palm, a company that has everything hinging on its new Palm Pre and webOS operating system, responded to the veiled threats via spokesperson Lynn Fox in an email to All Things Digital.
“Palm has a long history of innovation that is reflected in our products and robust patent portfolio, and we have long been recognized for our fundamental patents in the mobile space. If faced with legal action, we are confident that we have the tools necessary to defend ourselves,” said Fox.
Ok, fine. The gloves are off. But what is this really about? The consensus is that it has to do with Palm’s multitouch implementation in the Pre. Mobile handset manufacturers have largely steered clear of multitouch because of the plethora of patents Apple holds in its regard.
But it can’t be related to the hardware specifically. According to Digitimes, Cypress Semiconductor is supplying the multitouch technology for the Palm Pre. However, Apple has patented some of the gestures related to multitouch. According to Cypress Semiconductor, the TrueTouch technology that is likely being used in the Pre can support up to 10 fingers. That’s a lot of potentially infringing combination’s.
Is this what the whole backhanded battle is about? Gestures?!
(Image Credit: kevinsteele)