“I don’t want to talk about any specific company. I’m just making a general statement that we think competition is good. It makes us all better. And we are ready to suit up and go against anyone. However, we will not stand for having our IP ripped off. And we will use whatever weapons that we have at our disposal. I don’t know that I can be any more clear than that.”
It’s not a stretch to assume that Cook was, at least partially, talking about Palm (PALM), whose forthcoming WebOS platform and Pre smartphone include a lot of iPhone-like features, like multi-touch and gesture-based controls. (And whose engineering and design teams include many ex-Apple employees, including big shot engineer Jon Rubinstein.)
So what does Palm have to say?
“Apple was not the first to do multi-touch,” Palm rep Lynn Fox told Reuters by e-mail, noting that multi-touch has been around for 20 years. “Palm has been building its own intellectual property portfolio for 15 years, and we will defend it vigorously, if necessary,” said Fox.