PalmOne Becomes Palm Inc. Again, Recommits To Palm Operating System

Device vendor will change its name to Palm Inc. this fall and extends its commitment to the Palm operating system through 2009, but questions remain about its future device plans.
Device vendor palmOne Tuesday said that it will return to its roots and rename itself Palm, Inc. later this year and that it also renewed its license to use the Palm OS in its devices through 2009.

The company said that it agreed to pay its one-time corporate sibling PalmSource $30 million for that company's ownership stake in the Palm trademark. PalmOne will then become Palm, Inc. later this year and a new logo will be unveiled this summer, the company said. Devices launched in the fall will be branded Palm, according to the company.

"The letters P-A-L-M reflect a prized brand with significant customer awareness and earned loyalty," Ed Colligan, palmOne's president and CEO said in a statement.

In a separate agreement, palmOne signed a licensing agreement with PalmSource for the right to continue using the Palm OS through 2009. PalmOne will pay minimum royalties of $148.5 million over that time, including $65 million in 2007 and 2009.

The companies said in a statement, however, that the payments were "subject to (PalmSource) meeting certain development milestones." The companies did not say what milestones those were.

The statement did not say whether palmOne was free to also use other platforms in its devices. Rumors have long circulated that the company was working on a Windows Mobile version of its popular Treo smartphone, which would help it in the enterprise market where it has been faltering.

PalmSource has said that it will port its platform to Linux and is expected to provide a timetable for that project at a developer's conference this week.

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