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Palm Claims to Have “No Issues with Apple” Over Patents

Apple and Palm have been publicly shying away from addressing what may be a large legal tussle surrounding multi-touch patents. Previous comments from Apple have provoked the notion of aggression, while the latest comments from executives at Palm sidestep around the possibility of patent lawsuits.

preAt the Thomas Weisel Technology & Telecom Conference, Palm chief Ed Colligan explained that they have “no issues with Apple” surrounding multi-touch patents and the seemingly conflicting technology between them. As electronista notes, Colligan continued to explain that Palm has around 1,500 patents he feels confident about, and that Palm in general is very respective of other company’s intellectual property.

Still, the notion that Apple would allow Palm to blow the doors open on multi-touch is a bit strange. Apple COO Tim Cook has explicitly stated Apple’s stance on protecting its patents. “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 (Intellectual Propert). And if they do, we will go after anyone who does.” Although Cook made it clear these “threats” weren’t directed at Palm, one can’t help but wonder. “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.”

A well-sourced story over at VentureBeat explains why T-Mobile’s G1 with Google, which runs Android, does not incorporate the use of multi-touch. In a nutshell, Apple strong-armed Google and Google felt too much would be at risk given the two company’s deep and fruitful relationship.

Interestingly, Apple was recently awarded a potentially crucial patent application revolving around multi-touch technology. While it has been referred to as “the iPhone patent” in the past, reports explain that if Apple and Palm indeed went to court, the battle would call upon the oldest patents available referring to the way these devices function.

Either way the situation plays out, legal battles such as these hinder innovation and generally give consumers less of a choice in the marketplace. For the benefit of the mobile market, we hope Apple and Palm can resolve their differences and innovate against each other through technology, not the talent of their legal teams.

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