This is kind of interesting. Access, a Japan-based software company, published a release on its website this morning noting that it had entered a licensing agreement with Apple for a number of its patents. The firm’s portfolio is quite large, featuring IP from Bell, Palm and others.
The particular patents that Apple is said to have acquired the rights to came from PalmSource, the company behind Palm’s original mobile operating system. In 2003, it spun off of Palm as an independent company, and in 2005, Access acquired it and its intelectual property…
According to the press release, first spotted by Macotakara, Apple paid a $1B Yen for the patents. A quick search in Google tells us that’s just a little bit more than $10 million USD. That’s obviously just a drop in the bucket for Apple, who has over $140B in cash, but it’s noteworthy.
Interestingly enough, as 9to5Mac points out, some of these Palm patents that Apple has licensed are likely the ones that Steve Jobs referred to as ‘worthless’ in an email exchange with Palm’s CEO Ed Colligan back in 2007. The email surfaced earlier this year in a civil suit hearing.
Apple has been very active in licensing technology over the past year. Late last year, it reached a monumental cross-licensing deal with HTC that effectively ended all of their standing lawsuits. And earlier this year, it was part of a consortium that purchased 1,100 patents from Kodak.