Apple Sues Motorola – Will Palm be Next?

One of the more interesting developments in the smartphone industry has been Apple’s patent lawsuits against HTC and now Motorola over a number smartphone technologies. The latest, against Motorola for a number of devices including the entire Droid line, is for a variety of Apple patents including some around touchscreens.

PC World reports on the lawsuits:

Apple filed two lawsuits against Motorola and Motorola Mobility late Friday in a US federal court, claiming violations of its patents in multiple Motorola cell phones, including the Droid line.

According to the October 29 filings in the US District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin — first reported by the blog PatentlyApple — Apple is accusing Motorola of infringing on six patents, three of them focused on touchscreens. The products that it claims include the infringing technology are Motorola’s Droid, Droid 2, Droid X, Cliq, Cliq XT, BackFlip, Devour A555, Devour i1, and Charm.

Now that Apple has gone after another major Android handset manufacturer, the question is: will they come after HP-Palm for webOS? There’s been speculation for quite some time now that Apple wouldn’t dare go after Palm, given the depth and breadth of Palm’s patents.

Two factors come into play here. The first is whether or not Apple sees webOS as enough of a threat to warrant action. In the past, they might not have, but with the HP acquisition that might have changed. The second factor is that Palm has enough significant patents in smartphones to make such a lawsuit a bit risky for Apple, and so perhaps they’ll just pretend that they don’t know that webOS exists.

Another question is whether HP-Palm will go after Apple. With HP’s resources, that becomes a real possibility. Or, perhaps, HP and Apple have already had discussions around cross-licensing their various patents, and if so we’ll probably never hear about it.

Regardless, things are definitely getting interesting in the mobile connected devices market. By this time next year, the market could look very different than it does today, and I for one can’t wait to see it.

Comments

  1. I don’t think so.
    Palm – more or less the inventor of the smartphones – has quite an extensive portfolio of intellectual property.
    Then such a move could from the fruit company could backfire to them!
    (Especially now with HP in the back.)

    Apple is going after the new kids on the block (of smartphones). Companies, who previously made conventional or feature phones.

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