What are Apple’s Plans for Palm Patents?

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) went shopping, and has brought back some rather curious patent finds. Reportedly, the company has spent $10 million on patents previously belonging to Access Co., and covers filings from Palm, Bell Communications Research, and Geoworks.

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Not surprisingly, the applications are related to smartphones. It’s also worth noting that although Apple once turned its nose up at Palm’s patents in the past, it seems to have found some use for them after all. Details are scarce, but its likely that the purchase will help Apple avoid potential legal fights, which is quite possibly the last thing that the company needs right now.

Access was once PalmSource, a company that was spun off from Palm years ago with the intention of developing an OS for Palm’s handheld devices. Palm was later acquired by HewlettPackard (NYSE:HPQ), but when plans for HP to build a webOS (Palm’s operating system) fell through, Palm dropped out of the spotlight.

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Patent warfare has become synonymous with the tech sector recently, and companies like Apple are buying up patent rights and even making acquisitions to beef up their patent portfolios, and avoid future litigation. Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) also dipped in the Palm pool, making off with a number of patents back in 2010.

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