Palm and its line of smartphones might be extinct, but its patents have managed to live on after the company’s death, and Apple’s ready to scoop some of them up.
Apple reached an agreement with Japan’s ACCESS Co., Ltd. to license $10 million worth of patents that were originally created by Palm and PalmSource. Other patents were included in the deal from Bell Communications and Geoworks as well.
The move gives Apple some extra weapons against its highly litigious competition in the smartphone space. Palm OS — which was actually created by PalmSource, who is now owned by ACCESS — has been used on over 38 million devices since 1996. So Apple now has access to some older patents which have already proven themselves on the market.
Microsoft actually struck a deal with ACCESS for the same patents back in October 2010. While Palm failed to come up with an answer for the iPhone, its webOS received a lot of positive reviews and has been the inspiration behind a lot of multi-tasking jailbreak tweaks on the iPhone. Unfortunately, webOS was sold to LG, so Apple won’t be adding many Palm Pre-like features to iOS thanks to this deal.