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Apple Coughs Up $10 Million to License ‘Worthless’ Palm Patents

Apple Coughs Up $10 Million to License ‘Worthless’ Palm Patents

Apple has reached an agreement with Access Co., the Japanese company  to license some of the patents Access owns that are related to the Palm operating system, as well as Bell Communications Research and Geoworks.



Apple may once have called Palm’s patents essentially worthless, but it doesn’t seem to think that anymore. The company reportedly spent 1 billion yen, or $10 million, to license patents from Access Co.,a Japanese company that makes software for mobile devices, set-top boxes, and other products. Access acquired PalmSource, the owner of the Palm operating system, in late 2005.

The agreement was signed on March 31st, and covers smartphone patents from Palm, PalmSource, Bell Communications Research, and Geoworks.

Companies have been focusing licensing and acquiring technology to build their patent portfolios. Google purchased Motorola Mobility, and Microsoft licensed dozens of patents from Access in 2010. At that time, the patents were described as “foundational” in the smartphone market.

Palm was an early pioneer in the smartphone industry, but struggled to stay relevant with the entry of such competitors as Google and Apple.

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