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01.25.14

Palm’s Patents Heading Towards Android Backer

Posted in GNU/Linux, Patents at 10:42 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: A passage of many Palm patents to Qualcomm is not as bad one might think given the patent-stacking attempts against Android

Red Hat, the biggest backer of GNU/Linux, has been targeted by several patent trolls, some of which could be linked to Microsoft. Acacia is one of them. Red Hat bloggers warn about threats of this kind in a new post [1] and following sale of WebOS to LG, which pays Microsoft for Linux, we now learn that Qualcomm receives the patents [2]. This company has been rather aggressive with patents [1, 2, 3], but it is working a lot with Android (the company has Android pages and a Snapdragon SDK for Android), so it’s unlikely to be a real threat to Linux (not directly anyway, maybe just through hardware when it’s not Snapdragon). Perhaps knowing that these patents did not land in the hands of trolls or some Microsoft/Apple proxy (CPTN, Rockstar, etc.) is actually good news. In years to come we shall see what Qualcomm does with those patents and which companies it targets, as it probably will, based on abusive track record which put it under regulatory scrutiny/action.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Top events ahead in 2014 for abusive patent litigation

    In the most recent development, New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced what he calls a “groundbreaking settlement” with a well known Patent Assertion Entity (PAE), a so-called “patent troll.” This action in the Empire State follows on earlier state Attorney General (AG) investigations in Vermont, Minnesota, and Nebraska. It heralds what I anticipate to be deeper scrutiny by state AG’s of PAE use of ‘deceptive and abusive tactics’ against businesses and other entities in what the NY AG found in this case to be “an effort to strong-arm them into paying… for patent licenses of dubious value.”

  2. Qualcomm gobbles Palm patents after rummaging around HP’s backroom

    HP, meanwhile, looks to unload another piece of a Palm business it paid $1.2bn to acquire in 2010 and then all but killed off just a year later. After being mothballed by HP management, Palm’s flagship WebOS platform was eventually sold off to LG, where it has since been remade as a platform for the company’s smart TV line.

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