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  1. #41  
    Quote Originally Posted by BubbaHooska View Post
    Maybe it seemed like the spinoff happened before the acquisition, but behind the scenes Palm coordinated both to happen at once. Palm and Handspring entered into a Reorganization Agreement on June 4, 2003. Palm-Handsrping Reorg Agreement. That agreement treated both the Handspring acquisition and the PalmSource spinoff as two parts of one big plan.

    The PalmSource spinoff and the Handspring acquisition were both approved ay shareholders and completed on October 28, 2003. Palm (now HP) Press Release.
    Except Palm split off its OS department into a subsidiary in January 2002.

    Maybe it was still owned by Palm, (I didn't realize it was still a subsidiary at that point), but there was clear delineation into two separate companies at that point, a hardware, and a software company. I don't buy that a Handspring purchase in 2003 would somehow mean that the smartphone patents would get transferred to PalmSource, which was then becoming fully independent.

    As for whether webOS has any basis in PalmOS, the answer to that is simply no. PalmOS was a 68k assembly-based system until Garnet was hacked together to run on ARM CPUs.

    webOS was built from the ground up for ARM CPUs, using a Linux base and a WebKit interaction layer on top of that.

    Like I said, the only thing I could foresee this affecting is the user interface. After all, how many ways are there really to display contacts that would look drastically different from how PalmOS did it?
  2. DrewT3's Avatar
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    #42  
    Goodwill (brand) valued at $1 billion, and they killed the Palm brand within a year.
    I wonder if webOS has any value at this point. Obviously it is a nice OS but it is hard to see how it could generate a return for any company at this point.
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    #43  
    Acacia never owned or had the rights to WebOS per se. They probably have patents that are generically relevant, e.g. for a phone with a touchscreen. But no patents that are specific to WebOS, e.g. cards and stacks, touchstone charger, etc.

    If true, that would mean that anyone making a WebOS phone would need to pay them licensing fees -- just like people making Android phones already pay them licensing fees. It wouldn't mean that they control WebOS or that there are no WebOS-specific patents that would have value.
  4. TomD's Avatar
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    #44  
    Isn't it ironic Bradley, who screwed Palm by splitting off Palm Source and losing Palm's patents gets to preside over the mess he created?

    Some kind of cosmic justice here.
    Last edited by TomD; 08/31/2011 at 03:26 PM.
    Tom
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  5. TomD's Avatar
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    #45  
    Milo,

    Thanks for sleuthing this out. It explains a lot of the strange goings on with Palm/HP over the years.
    Tom
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  6. TomD's Avatar
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    #46  
    I haven't paid much attention to HP until recently. It is pretty clear that HP has lost its way now. HP loves to talk about their roots in the garage on Addison Ave in Palo Alto. What I only recently noticed is that HP sold off its seminal business - test instruments - in 1999. That is what Bill and Dave created.

    For me HP has been disconnected from its roots for a long time. They seem to be searching for a high margin business in a low margin economy. Its not a good sign that they seem to be swimming up stream without a plan.

    After Leo's reign at SAP, the results where not impressive. Looks like HP is in for hard times if Leo continues his stumbling style.
    Tom
    Pilot Prō --> M100 --> Trēō 600 --> Trēō 700p -- > Prē
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    #47  
    I think my brain just made my tooth fall out so I would stop reading this thread which was causing hurt to my head. I'm so confused that I don't even feel like downloading filthy adult videos.
    I am losing my mind at an alarming rate . . . Actually, I'm not really alarmed at all.
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    #48  
    Quote Originally Posted by jhoff80 View Post
    Except Palm split off its OS department into a subsidiary in January 2002.

    Maybe it was still owned by Palm, (I didn't realize it was still a subsidiary at that point), but there was clear delineation into two separate companies at that point, a hardware, and a software company. I don't buy that a Handspring purchase in 2003 would somehow mean that the smartphone patents would get transferred to PalmSource, which was then becoming fully independent.

    As for whether webOS has any basis in PalmOS, the answer to that is simply no. PalmOS was a 68k assembly-based system until Garnet was hacked together to run on ARM CPUs.

    webOS was built from the ground up for ARM CPUs, using a Linux base and a WebKit interaction layer on top of that.

    Like I said, the only thing I could foresee this affecting is the user interface. After all, how many ways are there really to display contacts that would look drastically different from how PalmOS did it?
    Thank you! I have been having a hard time figuring out the relevance of this as well.
  9. #49  
    Folks:

    There is no question that Palm (now HP) own a lot of relevant patents. I don't know how many Acacia own, or what they apply to, but a simple search of Google Patents (more user friendly than the USPTO site) shows "about 12,500" results (who knows what they are) for patents where Palm Inc. is the assignee:

    inassignee:"Palm, Inc." - Google Search

    How many Palm (or webOS)-related patents does Acacia own? Who knows, but probably none specific to webOS. The point being that all of this is guesswork until someone literally goes through and does the necessary due diligence (which would've been performed in HP's acquisition of Palm). That kind of work, when we're talking about patent portfolios of this size. I've worked on IP due diligence for deals where the relevant portfolios contained maybe 1,000 patents and just cataloging and giving a rough idea of what's covered takes weeks for a small team of IP attorneys.

    There are also any number of applications which have not issued as patents yet. See my post here regarding webOS grid views:

    http://forums.precentral.net/hp-webo...ml#post2734362

    In any case, I'm not necessarily discounting the OP's original point. But to make any conclusions about who has what and whether HP can sell or license webOS is impossible without significant time spent searching and analyzing what's out there. Of course, that would be much easier if we had access to, say, Palm's internal IP-prosecution database, but that ain't never gonna happen.

    Also, it's worth noting that the only ones who get patent analysis more wrong than financial analysts are journalists. Time and time again, I read something that any patent practitioner can tell you is just dumb wrong. So, WSJ? Take it worth a grain of salt.
  10. #50  
    Huh. If I'd known I was gonna kill the durn thread, I might not've posted!
  11. #51  
    Quote Originally Posted by DrewT3 View Post
    Palm had a really hard time executing on software development (like Nokia recently). Between 2003 and 2006 PalmSource created two updated Palm operating systems that died without ever being put in hardware: Cobalt and PalmOS for Linux.

    Palm OS - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    I think webOS only came about because PalmOne (Palm) set up a new software development team that wasn't afflicted from the old Palm snakebite.

    Correct. Back in the day, Palm faced the same conundrum Google is about to face, they were licensing their OS and selling hardware running the OS. Palm was split into separate software and hardware companies to alleviate the issue of companies licensing the OS feeling they were getting shafted because Palm devices were intimately connected to the OS. This wasn't an awful idea as you had PalmOne (the hardware company), Handspring, Sony, etc. making Palm OS devices. However, eventually you ended up with only PalmOne licensing the OS. When PalmSource (the software company) put itself up for sale, Palm (the hardware company) did try to purchase it, but was outbid by Access. Somewhere around then was when, I think, they started working on webOS, a new operating system built from the ground up.

    As for their patent case, I think this company is likely just going around suing whomever they can and get people to pay them to go away because its cheaper to pay them then to fight them (insert comments about great need to restructure our legal system here). The patent portfolio of this Acacia company is going to be largely tied to the original Palm OS. This may have some broad mobile OS patents since the Palm OS was one of (if not the) first truly powerful mobile OS. However, they're probably not nearly as strong as Acacia's lawyers would claim. The assertion they give Acacia control over webOS is quite dubious and likely easily defended against since Palm wrote webOS from the ground up well after the split.

    Now, the interesting patents related to smartphone development are controlled by HP. Palm got them when they bought Handspring, which basically created the smartphone with its VisorPhone and subsequent Treo line. Obviously, HP acquired these patents when it bought Palm.

    Gargoyle
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  12. #52  
    Interestingly, the patent infringement claims HTC filed against Apple today (using patents they acquired from Google last week -- which is sketchy in its own right) include patents that Google purchased from Palm "over the last year."

    I haven't been able to find anything that explicitly spells out which patents those are but it has to make you wonder exactly what patents HP actually picked up from the Palm acquisition.
  13.    #53  
    I too have been searching trying to find what these patents were and especially what the Palm patents were that Google bought...
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