Apple has won a U.S. patent for its multitouch-enabled technology. Analysts speculate the patent could be a potential legal weapon against iPhone competitors.
The win comes as Apple’s comments to the media have alluded to some displeasure with Palm’s encroachment on its technology.
Apple COO Tim Cook issued a thinly-veiled threat during an earnings conference call. “We think competition is good,” Cook said. “We are ready to suit up and go against anyone. However, we will not stand for having our IP ripped off and will use whatever weapons at our disposal.” However, Cook did not go so far as to mention Palm or the Pre directly.
Lynn Fox, Palm spokeswoman and ex-Apple employee, responded in a statement to Digital Daily. “Palm has a long history of innovation that is reflected in our products and robust patent portfolio…and we have long been recognized for our fundamental patents in the mobile space. If faced with legal action, we are confident that we have the tools necessary to defend ourselves,” stated Fox.
The question being asked now is whether this was a preliminary move by Apple to file suit against Palm for theft of intellectual property. Apple recently announced record-high quarterly profits amid an increasingly unpredictable macroeconomic environment. Palm today was down 38 cents, or 5.2%, to $6.99. Apple was up 71 cents, or 0.8%, to $90.35.