Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is not only in the market for better, more innovative mobile, desktop and laptop devices for users, but it is also in the market for consumers and intellectual property. The latter part, as we all know, seems to be the hobby of many tech companies – when they have free time outside of working on the “next great thing,” they spend their free time filing patent lawsuits and hurling prior art claims back and forth. It’s almost a sport.
And more often that not, the winner of this sport is the one with the most patents in the portfolio that are legitimate and valid, and that sometimes can be very tricky. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) already has a pretty robust portfolio of innovations, but it has moved to a slightly different level this week, as a deal was announced that Apple had secured licenses valued at about $10 million for a series of patents which at one point were the property of Palm and PalmSource.
Yes, that Palm. The one with the highly popular Palm Pilot PDA back in the late 1990s and early 2000s? There is little information about the specific patents that were licensed and how much of that old technology is carried forward to be utilized by Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), much less what Apple intends to do with the license other than beefing up the portfolio.
As Palm went away like the dodo bird, the licenses were sold by a Japanese company called ACCESS Co. Ltd., and the original PalmSource company is now called ACCESS Systems Americas, Inc., a subsidiary of ACCESS.
In the fall of 2010, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) reached a deal to license some of the same patents in this current agreement. Palm OS, which was the driver behind the Palm PDAs, eventually evolved into webOS, which had been owned by Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ), but is now owned by LG, which supposedly is using the OS to drive its newest iteration of televisions.
What are your thoughts about this new development? Do you think this will help Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) in its various patent battles now and in the future? Let us know your thoughts about this transaction in the comments section below, and for more Apple coverage, continue reading here, to learn more about the other mind-blowing patents in Apple’s portfolio.
DISCLOSURE: I own no positions in any stock mentioned.
Related tickers: Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)