Apple Has Licensed $10 Million In Patents Created By Palm and PalmSource

Posted Apr 12, 2013

Apple has licensed patents from a Japanese company that owns intellectual property created by Palm and PalmSource.  PalmSource was the creator of the original Palm operating system for personal digital assistants.  Formerly known as PalmSource, ACCESS Systems Americas is now developing the successor of the Palm OS PDA operating system (Access Linux Platform) and is working on BeOS.  PalmSource originally spun out from Palm.  The transaction value of the licensing agreement is worth around 1 billion yen ($10 million U.S.).

ACESS Systems made the licensing agreement announcement earlier this week (Japanese language).  Other patents that were included as part of the deal were created by Geoworks and Bell Communications.

At Palm’s height, their operating system was used in about 38 million devices.  As the popularity of mobile devices and smartphones grew, Palm launched a mobile operating system known as webOS.  webOS was used in devices like the Palm Pre, which was promoted as a potential iPhone rival.  After the Palm Pre flopped, HP acquired Palm and integrated webOS into some of their products.  Those products ended up flopping also so HP wrote off $1.66 billion to wind down the webOS business and made the mobile operating system open-source.  LG ended up swooping in to buy out the intellectual property for webOS from HP to use in future smart TVs.