During Apple’s earnings conference call on Wednesday, acting CEO Tim Cook made it clear that Apple was ready to defend its intellectual property using any weapons at its disposal. The unnamed target of this thinly veiled threat is presumably Palm, whose upcoming Pre contains features like a multi-touch enabled UI that are found in the iPhone. Some of this ire towards Palm might arise from the fact that the Pre was spearheaded by former Apple head of hardware engineering, Jon Rubenstein, and designed in part by engineers he wooed away from Apple. Palm however, is not afraid of Apple’s war mongering words and has responded by stating:
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.
Apparently, mere words from Apple are not sufficient to bully Palm into submission. Palm is prepared to go toe to toe with Apple over the innovations in the Pre and we can call this first round of debate a draw with both sides defending their technological territory. What happens next is in Apple’s hands and we will have to wait and see if this public posturing and heated rhetoric will be followed up by formal legal action.