Apple Licenses Palm Patents in $10M Deal

Apple has licensed several patents from Access in a US$10 million deal that includes technologies from Palm, Bell Communications Research, and Geoworks. The deal will likely help Apple shore up its mobile device patent portfolio and avoid at least some potential legal fights over infringement claims.

Apple spends $10M to license patents from AccessApple spends $10M to license patents from Access

If Access sounds familair, you probable know a little Palm history. Access was formerly PalmSource, the company that Palm spun off years ago to make Palm OS for its handheld personal digital assistant handheld devices. The company also holds patnets that came from a few other companies and owns BeOS -- an operating system that at one point was a contender to replace the aging Mac OS 9.

Palm was eventually purchased by HP and faded into obscurity. The company's last mobile operating system, webOS, at first looked to have a promising future running on HP-designed tablets, but those devices never took off and eventually was spun out to the open source community.

There isn't any word from Apple on exactly why it licensed the patents, but considering the lawsuit-happy nature of businesses it seems likely the comany is preemptively protecting itself from competitor's lawsuits.

[Thanks to Macotakara for the heads up]