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Acacia: "we basically control the software, and H-P controls the hardware."
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Old 08/25/2011, 04:02 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Summary: Acacia Research owns the foundational patents used by webOS. Palm has a license to use Acacia's patents in the hardware Palm sells. HP can't license webOS to other hardware makers without first getting an extended license from Acacia. But many have already gone directly to Acacia.

----------------

Paul Ryan, Acacia Research CEO is quoted by the Wall Street Journal as saying,
"...we basically control the software, and H-P controls the hardware...."

The Wall Street Journal article continues:

"...Leo Apotheker, H-P's chief executive, during an interview Thursday. "We're looking at alternatives to drive webOS software forward," he added."

"...Mr. Ryan said his company's reading of contracts associated with the original split of PalmSource from Palm would suggest that H-P would need a license from Acacia to pursue those options...."

Last October, Microsoft Licensed Patents Created by Palm from Acacia and followed by RIM, Nokia, Pantech, and Samsung. This week Electronisa reported that Apple, LG, AT&T ask to start settlement in Acacia lawsuit.

If Acacia is right, HP would need a license from Acacia to be able to license webOS.

Palm patented much of the technology that was to become smartphones. In 2003, Palm split into two: PalmSource to develop software and palmOne to sell hardware. PalmSource licensed the Palm OS and patents to a number of companies including IBM, Sony (Clie), Garmin, and Palm.

palmOne changed it's name back to Palm and PalmSource became Access. Access continued to develop PalmOS software which Palm and others licensed. That license allowed Palm to use those patents in webOS. Acacia Research, a patent holding company, has joined with Access in the Palm patents.

See
WSJ Cellphone Patent Disputes Piling Up
Microsoft Licenses Patents Created by Palm
Access And Acacia Affiliate License Smartphone Technology To Nokia
Access And Acacia Affiliate License Smartphone Technology To Pantech
Access Co. And Acacia Subsidiary License Smartphone Technology To Samsung
ACCESS and Acacia Subsidiary License Smartphone Technology To Microsoft
more
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Old 08/25/2011, 10:51 PM   #2 (permalink)
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In case the Wall Street Journal article from this week is not coming up, here is google's cached copy and some of the key text:
-----------------------------
...The patent holding company Acacia Research Corp. has accused an array of smartphone makers, including Apple, of patent infringement.

Several defendants, including Motorola, Nokia Corp. and Research in Motion Ltd. have recently agreed to settle the charges. Now, according to court filings, Apple, LG Electronics Inc. and AT&T Mobility Inc. have asked a federal judge to stay the proceedings while they pursue settlement negotiations.

..."It had great reception in the market; people like it, people think it's great," said Leo Apotheker, H-P's chief executive, during an interview Thursday. "We're looking at alternatives to drive webOS software forward," he added...

But Mr. Ryan [Paul Ryan, Acacia's CEO] said Acacia holds rights to patents covering many Palm software inventions that are "foundational" to the mobile market...

As far as the former Palm patents are concerned, "we basically control the software, and H-P controls the hardware," Mr. Ryan said during an interview Friday.

...Mr. Ryan said his company's reading of contracts associated with the original split of PalmSource from Palm would suggest that H-P would need a license from Acacia to pursue those options...
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Old 08/25/2011, 10:54 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I sent this in to P/C as a tip when the article was published. Very interesting stuff indeed.
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Old 08/25/2011, 11:26 PM   #4 (permalink)
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It's interesting, but given the timeline I would assume that Acacia's patents are "foundational" in the sense of being the old baseline. There has been a lot of work since that time. A big stretch for Acacia to claim they control the current software. Even if HP (or whoever) needs to pay licensing fees.
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Old 08/25/2011, 11:31 PM   #5 (permalink)
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this hurts my brain.
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Old 08/26/2011, 12:05 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Acacia is rampaging through the mobile market right now. Eveyrone is caving. This I think that this is the key part from this article:

-----------------------------
As far as the former Palm patents are concerned, "we basically control the software, and H-P controls the hardware," Mr. Ryan said during an interview Friday.

...Mr. Ryan said his company's reading of contracts associated with the original split of PalmSource from Palm would suggest that H-P would need a license from Acacia to pursue those options...


Acacia is saying that HP would first have to license the patents from Acacia before they could sublicense webOS.
------------------------------

Motorola bought the Palm license package which means it is a part of what Google just got. RIM, Samsung, Nokia, Apple, etc. are all licensing the Palm patents.
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Old 08/26/2011, 12:12 AM   #7 (permalink)
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that means samsung wont buy webOS for patents
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Old 08/26/2011, 12:18 AM   #8 (permalink)
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This is why I dont see HP licensing WebOS out.. they will form joint ventures with hardware manufacturers, like Samsung, HTC, LG, etc to allow them to design phones that HP's WebOS will go on, and they will jointly sell the phones to carriers and consumers - no licensing required.

Great find.. this ratifies my hypothesis.
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Old 08/26/2011, 12:56 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Symbian used to have a joint ownership structure --- until everybody sold back their shares to Nokia. It is an unworkable business model.
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Old 08/26/2011, 01:31 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Patent holdings like this stifle competition and ruin the market sometimes. I really wish they would reform the patents. Companies are trademarking words like "scrolls" now. Whats next?

Fixing a broken patent system - CNET News

Same goes for copywrited stuff, its out of hand and it needs to stop. Their are companies sitting doing NOTHING and making a ton of money just by suing people.

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Old 08/26/2011, 11:14 AM   #11 (permalink)
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In order to license Palm OS, all of the Palm Intellectual Property and software had to be split off into an autonomous company, PalmSource. This allowed Sony (Clie), IBM, Garmin, and others to license Palm OS for their phones. Palm had smartphone patents from before they were called smartphones.

PalmSource held the patents and did the development and palmOne would sell phones. palmOne eventually bought exclusive rights to the Palm brand when PalmSource was bought by Access.

Palm and now HP has a license to use the Palm patents for their own products. But only Access (and now Acacia) has the right to license the Palm patents that webOS is built on to others.

Remember how MotionApps Classic gave us access to the 30,000 Palm apps until they could be ported over to webOS? That's why licensing from Access, not Palm, forced the cost to $30, not $10 as first thought. That's why the MotionApps splash screen said "Powered by Access".

Palm's patent portfolio from 1992 and some even going into early 2009 are not owned by Palm or now HP but by Access. Access was supposed to be open source but instead joined with Acacia to license their patents. Microsoft, RIM, Nokia, Pantech, Samsung, Apple, LG, and AT&T are licensing Palms patents from Acacia, not HP.

Do you think that when HP bought Palm they fully understood that they were not buying the Palm patents?

So why isn't HP licensing out webOS?

Because HP bought the rights to make hardware, not license the software.
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Old 08/26/2011, 11:46 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Access/Palmsource has less than 100 patents. PalmOne/Palm Inc. has about 1600 patents.
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Old 08/26/2011, 01:16 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samab View Post
Access/Palmsource has less than 100 patents. PalmOne/Palm Inc. has about 1600 patents.
Bloomberg reported that the patent analysts found that of Motorola's 17,000 issued and 7,500 pending patents, Google paid the $12.5B for just 18 patents. One patent is to automatically disable a touchscreen while on a call when the phone is up to your ear to prevent automatic hangups, etc. That is one that Motorola is counter-suing Apple over.

It is Acacia/Access who is doing all the Palm patent licensing. It is actually not even 100 patents, it is only 74 patents that Acacia is licensing to everyone.

If Palm had Intellectual Property, they would have an obligation to shareholders to protect it.

Can anyone find a reference to Palm or HP ever filing suit over a Palm patent? Has Palm or HP ever licensed a Palm patent? I cannot find anything since the 2003 split that Palm has sought to protect by any legal action.
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Old 08/26/2011, 01:22 PM   #14 (permalink)
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posted this earlier:

http://forums.precentral.net/hp-palm...lm-source.html

Basically Todd Bradley made the biggest FUBAR of all time spinning off Palmsource when he was CEO of Palm. Soo many blunder over the history of this company it isn't even funny...
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Old 08/26/2011, 02:04 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaurav View Post
posted this earlier:

http://forums.precentral.net/hp-palm...lm-source.html

Basically Todd Bradley made the biggest FUBAR of all time spinning off Palmsource when he was CEO of Palm. Soo many blunder over the history of this company it isn't even funny...
Well, sure enough! I guess I did not understand what the revenge of the palm source was and did not get the significance to webOS before.

Now I do.

So HP got the part that sells hardware. Acacia got the part that has the key patents.

And HP has said that they will not sell more hardware.

For two years I kept wondering why Palm never took legal action to protect their key patents. Now we know.

If Samsung, Motorola (now Google), Apple, LG, and everyone else already licensed the patents, what would HP license?
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Old 08/26/2011, 02:34 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Its amazing, all this analysis points to the fact that webOS is going to die, no one would buy webOS cause we dont have any good patents, and the amazing handheld patent we had, we spun it off. Bradley knew all this, why did he buy Palm? Why didnot he kept Palm one an integral part of Palm. Plain stupid in hindsight. Also if Palm OS had such a big user base and 30K apps in 2007, why not add a webkit browser to palm os, tighten the code while also developing for webOS, that would have been ideal. Like google did w Chrome and Android.
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Old 08/26/2011, 03:01 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Multiple parties bid last year --- and a few of them didn't want WebOS, they only wanted the patents.

So I will say that there will be parties interested in buying the patents.
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Old 08/26/2011, 03:11 PM   #18 (permalink)
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now i understand that hp was also licenced by acacia but they didn't know it and they made a stupid move trying to licence what's not their.
HP give back webos to acacia and we'll see what happens ,i just hope that it's owned by the rightful owners or founders.
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Old 08/26/2011, 03:19 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kkhanmd View Post
Also if Palm OS had such a big user base and 30K apps in 2007, why not add a webkit browser to palm os, tighten the code while also developing for webOS, that would have been ideal. Like google did w Chrome and Android.
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.
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Old 08/26/2011, 04:08 PM   #20 (permalink)
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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.
Exact. After buy the licences to Treos and Centro, the Palm(one) begun to develop your own SO, forgetting the Cobalt and ALP (Access Linux Plataform). If I can remember, only one device has received the ALP from some russian company...

But... in other words, the HP should have bought the Access too to solve all his problems?


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