During an interview discussing Apple's financial results, Tim Cook made some comments which are thought to have been directed at Palm.
Did Palm rip-off Apple with the design of its Pre smartphone?
"We like competition. As long as they don't rip off our IP [intellectual property] and if they do we're going to go after anybody that does," he said.
It is thought Apple is concerned about the multi-touch screen on the Palm Pre that can be controlled using a two-fingered pinch, just like the iPhone. Apple has applied for a patent to cover the technology used in multi-touch screens. If granted, the patent would require other phone manufacturers to license the technology from Apple.
Cook's comments prompted Mike Abramsky, an analyst with RBC Capital Markets, to question whether Cook was referring to the Palm Pre.
"The Palm device particularly seems to almost directly emulate the kinApple has applied for a patent to cover a multi-touch screen, and if granted, would requitre other phone manufacturers to license the technology from Apple. of touch interfaces that you had innovated and that Steve, when he launched the phone, talked about patented. Is that to what you're referring with regarding to ripping off IP?" he said.
While Cook refused to elaborate on which company he was referring to. However, he did add: "We will not stand for having our IP ripped off, and we'll use whatever weapons that we have at our disposal. I don't know that I can be clearer than that".