Palm Comments on Apple Multi-Touch Patents

Following up on Apple Chief Operating Officer, Tim Cook's comments during yesterday's Q1 conference call, and the supposition that he was hinting that Apple may just take legal action against the Palm Pre for violating Apple's intellectual property (i.e. patents), PC Mag quotes a reaction from Palm:

A spokeswoman at Palm said Thursday that the company has not been contacted by Apple's legal team, to her knowledge. "Palm has a long history of innovation, obviously reflected in our own products and our own robust apps portfolio," she said. "We have long been recognized for our fundamental patents in the mobile space. If we're faced with legal action, we're confident that we have the tools to defend ourselves."

When asked whether gestures like "pinching" were universal, or belonged to Apple, the Palm spokeswoman said that "our position is that multitouch has been around a long, long, long time before Apple introduced it."

We learned that Apple first began patenting multi-touch in 2004 and acquired additional patents when they bought Fingerworks in 2005, but is Palm hinting that -- as pointed out -- they may have some patents of their own to fight back with?

Curiouser and curiouser...

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

More Posts



← Previously

Birthplace of the iPhone: Rare Glimpse of Apple Design Studio

Next up →

Quick App: Get iJiggles-y with the iPhone

Reader comments

Palm Comments on Apple Multi-Touch Patents


Yeah right, b!tch... touch technology has been around a long, long, long time... on fast food cash registers, you unimaginative losers. You ssssuck!
:lol: Muahahaha!! Muahahaha!!

I may be in the minority, but I believe Palm. I have no question that they have had a multi-touch concept kicking around for a long time. The only question I have is that will a patent judge believe that using two styli is inherently the same as using two fingers?

I Hai there palm lady here i share some fairy dust with you. don't worries you can create some magical products soon

Palm Sucks. Every company with a touch screen phone besides apple sucks. They all copy an innovative idea and execute it horribly

I love the iPhone but kudos to the pre the only way to beat or compete with the iPhone is to copy it's best features ( pintch tech falls into that)...I do think it's pretty cheap move from Palm but nevertheless an productive move.

That picture made me crack up. If Apple is going to take action against them, shouldn't they take action against the instinct and the htc touch as well?

If Apple can get an injunction based on this, Palm would have to remove it. Palm need the Pre out in a few months, multi-touch or not; or I doubt they'll survive.
Let's face it, Palm even mimicked Steves iPhone launch keynote! There not hiding the fact this is an iPhone clone - they just think they can get away with it.

at least she did not use words like "weapons" lol. I'm not jumping the gun on this one....maybe they do have something to fight back with.

first of all, how can palm expect to survive off of the pre when they are selling it exclusively to sprint users in the united states??? i guess misery really does love company seeing how sprint is a ship with a million holes.
but honestly, i don't think apple should pursue them for 2 reasons: 1. doing so would admit that there could be anything actually close to beating the iphone. 2. it would kinda hurt their image a little bit and they may be seen as "the big bully on campus" instead of the "game saving underdog" that we know and love.
if they really do own all that "intellectual property" then i cannot oppose their decision to go after them. they would have every right to do that but other consumers may be a bit more ignorant on their perspectives.
those are just my opinions tho and i'm definitely open minded.

APPLE is scared hahaha. Almost makes me want to go look at the pre see what all the fuzz is about that even APPLE does not want to come out

Im jumping off the apple band wagon for a sec- Don't u ppl realize that it's in our best interest for Palm be allowed to release the pre. No one should be allowed to claim multi touch then what r we left with it should be fair game when it comes to multi touch . Apple did not create multi touch they bought it.

Ya they do own it. You are given the rights to that technology. If that's the case then why should apple have paid for it. Legally they didn't want to have a lawsuit against them. If this is overturned then don't innovate. Your thoughts will make someone else rich.

I don't know what "u ppl" or "r" is. I'm an adult. Good luck on future job applications. :roll:

I understand that But I hope palm has something up their sleeve this would be a trajedy if it happened fan boy or not when u take a step back and look at the bigger picture.

You clearly have nothing interesting to say Steve you're just as bad as the trolls who only comment to say thing like you said "your" instead your "you're" to the poster. I have a good job but thanks for the concern buddy.

And we all get that youre old, mature and far superior..... no need to stress it every time u comment how about you reflect it when u comment? will save u some time.

I love how the Internet is full of English teachers and yet society is full of idiots. This isn't published edited material. I want the pre to come out so apple will have to produce a new iPhone right away. My first generation iPhone needs to become an ipod. And 3g is my phone plus two new chips that I don't need. I want a faster processor. Where's my iPhone pro?

Allow me to put my apple love for a bit. Putting the multitouch aside, looking at how much that the pre seems to do i think apple has lesson to learn here, you cant stay in the market with one or two exclusive features forever! Iphone is prehistoric considering what many other phones are in fact have been doing for a long time! Apple has been in the market for 2 years now and how have they really added to the iphone feature, remember to count from the essential not fancy. Dont want to take away credit for the good work but apple still has a lot to catch up with to be a serious contender in the long term! you can do it steve, bring it on!

Going after another company for something like this would just make apple look petty and scared of palm. Palm had touch long before apple did... maybe or maybe not a idea about multitouch but I don't really doubt they didn't have a idea about multitouch floating around considering that'd be the next step from single touch (duh).
Multitouch as a theory or idea shouldn't be patented - if I were more awake I could think of the word I'm looking for but basically it's a bad idea for the market as it makes it far more exclusive than it should. It'd be like how windows wanted to force everyone to use only explorer or whatever my sleepy brain can't recmember too well bout a court case.... excuse the spelling errors and such I should be getting ready for work not posting even heh.

It is very petty, Apple was completely blind sided by the introduction of the Pre, I believe Apple is very worried. As for multi-touch, Apple does not have a Patent on multi-touch, multi-touch is used by thousands of terminals, computers, cash registers, etc. Take ATM's for example, Diebold (involved in election fraud) machines have been using multi-touch for years.

To everyone defending Apple, where would we be today if some company defended patents for the combination of a phone and PDA, for of touch screens in general, or for anything that's part of the iPhone? Somebody invented those too. Apple did something innovative, but they definitely copied a lot of ideas in the process themselves.

People in this thread need to understand the difference between a touch screen and multi-touch gestures. Cash registers, ATMs, etc. are touch screen devices but do not use multi-touch gestures. So, no, multi-touch has not been around for a long, long time.
Apple knew the product they wanted to develop, did the research for who owns the patents and bought the company, Fingerworks, who was in the way. As obvious as multi-touch seems today, the dopes at Palm were still pushing the stylus (single touch) methods until the iPhone came out. Palm can still come out with the Pre as is, but they'll end up having to license this technology from Apple since they hold the patent. Apple didn't just file for the patent, they've been awarded the patent. It's official folks.

I hope they come out with more consumer friendly stuff before competition does, patents or not. Period.

palm pre is the iphone killer and palm has always been more innovative than apple. for instance the mac is simply a boxed-in version of linux. palm has always and only produced mobile devices. it was only a matter of time until they trumped the toy phone iphone. iphone debuted without 3g and most people i knew who got one hated the lack of functionality (even with the 3g version). i currently own a treo and i'd trade nothing for it, except a pre, but i'm bound to a cingular/att contract and there's no way i'd switch to sprint. and by the looks of things anyway, apple is going down.

I have to respond to this statement on the first page… I make some insults.
“Apple rocks, goodbye Palm.” —> I hate these comments.
Are you an idiot? or just another fangirlboy?
I have an iphone, and I am also a developer. I had a palm treo before this.
The only thing the iphone can do natively that my 4 year old treo could’nt,
is wifi and gps. I do like it now, but I and millions of other business and
IT professionals managed without it just fine. My Palm treo even had the
ability to use touch signals with zooming and scrolling abilities using
programs that supported it. One that did was a file reader called
“Picsel Proviewer” do a search on youtube for demos. Most of the demos are
on windows mobile devices but it did work on Palm OS treos as well. Actually
apple probably stole the tech from these guys. All the while you guys were
probably having wet dreams about your new Razor.
I am looking forward to the Palm Pre even if they pay Crapple money to license
the stolen technology…. its better then the iphone simply because it runs
on Linux.
My question to dumb asses/crapple fanboys/girls.
Do you really think the OS on the iphone is better then a full running linux OS
which is what the Palm Pre runs on?… do you even understand the possiblities
that could bring? I am talking about all the things like flash support,
copy/paste, native divx support, etc… Yes, I know there are some 3rd party
apps that allow some copy and pasting. Ha…now you fanboys cant say, hey dumb
ass, their are apps that allow copy-paste. Sure if that’s what you want to
call it. Also TomTom navigator fully ran on my treo. Iphone doesnt even have
any real offline maps app. Just some that allow you to download sections of
google maps to view offline. In comparison to TomTom…there is no comparison.
I was given this iphone as payment for a job. I had never planned to purchase
one. My treo still works fine and I still use TomTom on it all the time.
You freaking crapple fangirlboys need to take a class on technology and
computers…..button pushing morons.
Hey Tim Cook… suck my %$#@!!!
“Tim Cook has been quoted saying that, “Well, I don’t want to talk about any specific company. I’m just making a general statement that we think competition
is good. It makes us all better. And we are ready to suit up and go against anyone”
Apple doesnt beleive in competition at all. That’s why their computers only use
certain hardware. If they really believed in competition they would open up
there system for all hardware manufacturers. I can buy the same hardware that
is in your G5 for a fraction of the cost. If a pretty case means that much
to you…then…well that’s just sad… oh you can find those too.
I will end with this..
Anyone who thinks ONE company can make better products then HUNDREDS of
companies competing to be the best.
Is smoking crack.
I hope Palm figures out a way to own Apple.

In my post above, please disregard the lines about the response to a posters statement. I copied and pasted my post from another blog I wrote it for. However, it is completely applicable here as well.

You know that Apple has been lost the war against Microsoft Windows for years about screen. Actually, Apple stole the idea came from Xerox Corporation. So there is no way for Apple to win.
Now, Apple steal some ideas from different companies include brought some of companies for that patents. Well...I am afraid that Apple will be more suffer to face the truth come out in the court that Apple actually not make any ideas of that own patents.
Let Apple pay for that costly dearest. Drain their budget down. Let their stocks down. Take away from Apple's patents to rightful Original owners of different companies.
Apple will have to pay Palm for those royalty fees thru Apple's iPhone and iPod products.
Those public will paint on Apple's icon into ugly picture.
I can't wait and see that happen soon.
Good luck to Apple, Congraduation to Palm for success.

OK ..... I understand that you iphone lovers are devoted ... but damn! Stop the hate You all sound like Redskin, i mean Deadskin fans.... LOL
The Pre is HOT!
Everytime something better or close to better comes people get scared and start hattin.
I just want to know when its coming out and what bugs are going to have to be worked out?

Me, the only information that comes across in your lengthy post is that you're likely pimply-faced, angry, and twelve.