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Tim Cook’s Aggressive Stance Towards Suing Patent Violaters (Palm?)

In Apple’s Q1 financial results earnings call, COO Tim Cook made some particularly aggressive statements pertaining to competitors violating patents Apple holds. When looking at the marketplace, Palm should most likely be prepared to defend the newly announced Palm Pre.

iphone_preAfter reiterating Apple’s stance on the netbook category, COO Tim Cook shifted positions to talk about iPhone competitors and how Apple will react to those seemingly “ripping off” Apple’s IP. As TechCrunch notes, some of Cook’s comments sound particularly aggressive.

We approach this business as a software platform business. We are watching the landscape. We like competition as long as they don’t rip off our IP. And if they do, we will go after anyone who does.

This definitely seems directed squarely at Palm. Seeing as how former Apple engineer Jon Rubinstein is spearheading the Pre project over at Palm, there definitely seems to be conflicting issues here. We’ve already stated that Apple should take notice of the Pre, as we’re sure they have. But a heavyweight lawsuit between Apple and Palm over the use of multi-touch technology could be substantial.

Even though the messages seem to be directed at Palm, when asked about a specific company, Cook didn’t name names, which is to be expected. However, Google’s Android phone is developed with a completely open source platform, and with respect to the device, multi-touch technology is in question here, which the G1 lacks.

I don’t want to talk about any specific company. We are ready to suit up and go against anyone. However, we will not stand for having our IP ripped off.

On one hand, suing Palm and wrestling control away from competition would favor Apple, but in turn it may hinder global innovation. We were rather surprised and relieved to see the Pre, even though we knew deep down a lawsuit may brew. But the give and go with this level of innovation between two companies like Apple and Palm would only make for better results for the end users and consumers.

Instead of lawsuits, we’d like to see this settled with the separation of proprietary technology. But for that to happen, Palm needs to reveal how its multi-touch interface and operating system function. If that technology impedes on Apple’s patents, Palm might need a plan B.

Comments [5]

5 Comments to “Tim Cook’s Aggressive Stance Towards Suing Patent Violaters (Palm?)”

jojo22 @ January 21st, 2009 at 4:45 pm
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I definitely small a lawsuit here.

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corin @ January 21st, 2009 at 5:21 pm
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you’re definitley not the only one

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frosted mini wheat @ January 21st, 2009 at 5:31 pm
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It’d be pretty ironic if the the Pre never saw the light of day… eh?

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buy adsense @ January 21st, 2009 at 10:23 pm
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DDRAM33 @ January 21st, 2009 at 10:25 pm
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Mark my words: This will be a full blown out lawsuit with Apple DEMANDING to see evidence that intellectual property wasn’t stolen and used over at Palm by Rubinstein. Mark my words. This will be huge.

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