Patent hoarder, Access, has announced that Apple and itself have agreed a deal to license some $10 million (1 billion Yen) worth of patents, many of which were formerly owned by Palm/PalmSource. Although it’s not exactly clear what exactly these patents cover, even reading the original news post over at MacoTakara in poorly translated English is enough to give you a headache:
The patent about the function of the smart phone with which our company holds the licensing agreement concerned is included, Our patent is begun to such patent hort folio, and Palm, PalmSource, Bell Communications Research, and Geoworks which the company acquired explain that it is contained in the patent right held, respectively.
It’s unclear if this is for patents already in use by Apple, or if it points to future features. However, the former is more likely considering Apple’s history of creating its own patented designs. It’s rare that our favorite fruit company makes a licensing deal with anyone unless it’s been found to be using others’ patents without permission.