Apple is Watching Palm Pre for IP Infringement

All of our gushing about the Palm Pre aside (or the Palm Pretty as some of us in the office have taken to calling it), it looks like Apple might not be so hot on Palm’s latest addition to the touch screen smartphone race.

The Pre was launched at CES in the first week of January and it impressed pretty much everyone at the conference. Sure, not all of us liked it, but most conceded that Palm deserved kudos for coming up with something so different to what it had before. Palm said it was going after the “fat middle market” that is the people who want to use a smartphone for both work and play (as opposed to the iPhone’s mostly play reputation and RIM’s mostly work history) but people immediately started comparing it to the iPhone.

It seems Apple is none too pleased about this. Gizmodo points to remarks from Tim Cook, the man Steve Jobs has left in charge, and says that Apple is hinting that the Pre is ripping off the iPhone IP. Uh oh.

Tim Cook said the company welcomed competition as long as the other team doesn’t play dirty and if they do, Apple won’t be taking crap from anyone.

"We like competition as long as they don't rip off our IP. And we're going to go after anybody that does."

That said, when an analyst asked if he was talking about the Pre, because you know, everyone assumed he was talking about the Pre, Cook replied that he was just making a general statement about how much Apple hates to be ripped off.

"I'm making a general statement...We will not stand for having our IP ripped off," and Apple will use any "weapons at our disposal."

Hmm, is someone a little bitter that iPod God, Jon Rubinstein, is now leading Palm’s research, development, and engineering? Wait and see, I suppose.

Read our coverage of the Palm Pre here.