Print 16 comment(s) - last by gtrsq.. on Feb 10 at 9:42 PM

Palm says Apple multi-touch patent wont stop its Pre

The U.S. patent system is severely broken, as most fans of technology will agree. Patents are issued with alarming frequency for technology that is obvious and at times even pre-existed the patent application.

Many see this as the case with the patent that was granted to Apple this week covering multi-touch and gesture control for its iPhone and computing devices. The problem for some technology fans is that multi-touch and gesture control were hardly pioneered by Apple in many eyes.

When I first heard Apple was granted a patent I immediately had visions of a mass legal crusade by Apple to get other tech firms to stop using multi-touch or else pay licensing fees to fatten the fruity coffers.

If you look at it multi-touch is everywhere already, many computer makers like ASUS have multi-touch track pads. Microsoft has been showing multi-touch in its Surface design for years and other firms use the technology currently as well.

One of the technology firms that is placing a lot on multi-touch is Palm with its Pre handset that debuted at CES 2009. The potential issue for Palm is that the Pre uses both multi-touch and gesture control. Laptop Magazine talked to a Palm spokesperson Lynn Fox to get insights on what Palm thinks about the Apple patent.

Fox told Laptop, "Palm has a long history of innovation that’s reflective in our products and our robust patent portfolio, and we’ve been long recognized for those fundamental patents in the mobile space. If we are faced with legal action we are confident that we have the tools necessary to defend ourselves."

Fox also says that Palm has no plans to delay the launch of the Pre based on the patent being issued.

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good for you
By Screwballl on 1/28/2009 2:18:14 PM , Rating: 3
even though I do not care for Palm personally, I think this is the best stance they can take, and I hope they stick with their word to get this patent reversed and denied preventing Apple's "lawsuit crusade".

RE: good for you
By omnicronx on 1/28/2009 3:23:52 PM , Rating: 2
As someone already pointed out in the last article, the patent office does not enforce patents, merely having a patent means little to nothing if you can't enforce it. What i find funny here is that Apple even went as far as to try and patent multitouch off screen, which is a feature that is not in the iPod but is already implemented in the Palm Pre.
It seems to me that almost ALL the big players in the market can make the 'prior art' claim in which Apple patent would be null and void anyways.

As for gestures, many people have pointed out that both Palm and MS have been using gestures with their hand held devices but just not multitouch gestures. They should easily be able to make the case that this technology should be transferred to multitouch uses.

RE: good for you
By HaZaRd2K6 on 1/29/2009 12:52:31 AM , Rating: 2
Engadget has a really good article up about each firm's respective patents. While it appears on the surface that Palm is blatantly infringing on Apple's patents, some old patent searches reveal that Palm owns a lot of patents that Apple uses--and hasn't licensed. Should play out nicely (personally, I hope Apple's lawsuit-fixation gets quashed).


RE: good for you
By scrapsma54 on 2/2/2009 1:19:39 AM , Rating: 2
Is it just me or apple is turning out to be like sony? It appears niether company can take lightly to competition cause in reality, they really cant.

C'mon Palm, go, go,go
By lifeblood on 1/28/2009 4:15:46 PM , Rating: 5
I really hope Palm pulls this off. They had excellent products back in the day, which they then totally blew when they split the company. I would like to see them doing well again.

I've been waiting for someone to bring out a true iPhone competitor for a while and it appears that is finally starting to happen.

I just wish it was with someone other than Sprint. Their customer service is horrible.

RE: C'mon Palm, go, go,go
By fteoath64 on 1/31/2009 12:05:09 PM , Rating: 2
They will. I guarantee it. Ed Colligan is no spring chicken in the mobile business. Apple is a novice in that and the granted patent is not worth the paper it is printed on!. Apple loves to scare companies especially foreign ones. With Palm, they are thinking of winning a poker game with a full-fledged professional. They can keep dreaming too!.

Unless they got a really idiot judge on the bench on this, Apple cannot win. Litigation is needed to prove that their patent is nonenforceable due to prior art way before its time.
Elevation Partners has very good lawyers with patent specilization to protect their $100M investment.
So the PRE will be sold and will evolve hopefully a notch or two better than any future iPhones.

If Microsoft were to do this...
By FaceMaster on 1/30/2009 12:01:08 PM , Rating: 2
...Imagine the amount of HATE it would generate. 'OOoh Microsoft is taking over! It's abusing its market position!'. It would be suicide!

However, with Apple it seems to be alright with most people.

Fair enough
By gtrsq on 2/10/2009 9:42:14 PM , Rating: 2
I for one will be chopping off my excess fingers to avoid a potential lawsuit.

Gimmy a brake
By icanhascpu on 1/28/09, Rating: -1
RE: Gimmy a brake
By wrekd on 1/28/2009 8:00:34 PM , Rating: 2
No, but like most patent holding companies nowadays, they use the protection of a patent in ways not originally intended.

RE: Gimmy a brake
By icanhascpu on 1/29/09, Rating: -1
RE: Gimmy a brake
By gfxBill on 1/28/2009 8:24:19 PM , Rating: 2
I *like* Apple, they do some great stuff. But patenting moving your finger on a touch screen? C'mon...

RE: Gimmy a brake
By icanhascpu on 1/29/2009 4:45:26 AM , Rating: 1
Yes because its as simple as that right. You dont even know what the patent defines do you.

RE: Gimmy a brake
By googolPLeX on 1/29/2009 4:11:38 PM , Rating: 3
That is the second time you said "You dont even know what the patent defines do you".

Please enlighten us all to what *exactly* is so innovative and different that we don't understand and articles about this get so wrong.

One could easily say that you don't know anything about the patent either. The onus is on you to explain what we don't understand.

RE: Gimmy a brake
By xti on 1/29/2009 12:14:04 PM , Rating: 2
I agree, nerds rank higher in the pecking order if they hate big mainstream companies.

creative nomad = the anti-boner.

RE: Gimmy a brake
By Smilin on 1/31/2009 1:28:03 AM , Rating: 1
A brake? I'll gave yew a spellar checkar.

BTW Yes, Apple IS doing something wrong. They are patenting the ideas of others. I don't dislike them but if they try to take this to the next step and actually sue people then I'll start.

"Let's face it, we're not changing the world. We're building a product that helps people buy more crap - and watch porn." -- Seagate CEO Bill Watkins
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