Apple and Palm rattle sabres over litigation

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Apple and Palm rattle sabres over litigation

A war of words has broken out between Apple and Palm over unspecified legal threats over iPhone technology.

In last week’s Apple’s acting chief executive Tim Cook made a number of comments about the company’s intellectual property and its willingness to go to the courts to defend it.

“We like competition as long as they don't rip off our IP (intellectual property). And if they do, we're going to go after anybody that does," he said

"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.

"However, we will not stand for having our IP ripped off. And we will use whatever weapons that we have at our disposal. I don't know that I can be any more clear than that."

While he refused to be drawn on the target of the remarks it has widely been interpreted as a warning to Palm over the forthcoming launch of its Pre device, which used multitouch controls in a similar way to Apple.

Palm obviously believes this to be the case too, since a spokesperson told the Digital Daily blog:

“Palm has a long history of innovation that is reflected in our products and robust patent portfolio and we have long been recognised for our fundamental patents in the mobile space,” said spokesperson Lynn Fox.

“If faced with legal action, we are confident that we have the tools necessary to defend ourselves.”

There is considerable doubt that Apple could prove it created multitouch technology if it came to it, says Bill Buxton from Microsoft Research. He details the history of touch technology on his blog and points out it has been in use for around 309 years.
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