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Apple, LG, AT&T ask to start settlement in Acacia lawsuit

updated 10:50 am EDT, Tue August 23, 2011

Acacia CEO claims control over some Palm patents

Apple, LG and AT&T have asked a federal judge to stay proceedings in the patent infringement lawsuit filed against them by Acacia Research, says the Wall Street Journal. Motorola, Nokia and Research in Motion recently agreed to settle their part of the dispute. The new stay request is intended to allow additional settlement negotiations.

Acacia's CEO, Paul Ryan, notes that patents involved in the lawsuit may have a bearing on HP's plans for webOS following the dissolution of its tablets and smartphones. HP acquired webOS when it bought Palm in 2010. Ryan claims that Acacia owns the rights to patents covering many of Palm's software inventions; "we basically control the software, and HP controls the hardware," he elaborates.

Before it was bought by HP, Palm spun off a software division into a company called PalmSource. A Japanese firm, Access, bought PalmSource in 2005 for $324 million. Acacia in turn has a partnership with Access. Ryan suggests that HP may -- as a result of contracts linked to the formation of PalmSource -- need special licensing to extend the use of webOS to things like appliances and cars. HP is also continuing to move forward with plans to put webOS on PCs.

by MacNN Staff



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