Most fans of smartphones would say that Palm’s popular webOS software died much too soon. In 2010 after HP bought webOS, they killed it off and allowed it to (slightly) live on as an open OS called Open webOS. Following the launch of Open webOS, LG acquired the operating system, but only the websites, documentation, source code and team behind the client side of webOS. After the LG acquisition almost two years ago, we haven’t really heard much of the operating system aside from a few rumors of LG bringing it to a smartwatch and the TV. We may be hearing much more about it in the future, though, thanks to some recent reports uncovered from the USPTO. According to webOS Nation, it seems as though Alcatel Onetouch, an Android device manufacturer, (sort of) purchased the brand as well as all trademarks and logos from HP earlier this year.
The documents that have been uncovered from the United States Patent and Trademark Office show that the brand and all trademarks and logos have been transferred to a “shelf company” called Wide Progress Global Limited. A ‘shelf company’ is a legitimate company that’s inactive, meant for people who need a quick jump on starting a business. So, how does this relate to Alcatel Onetouch? The vice president of the shelf company is Nicolas Zibell, who is also the President, Americas and Pacific, of Alcatel Onetouch and TCL. So, the President of Alcatel Onetouch transfers Palm’s brand, trademarks, and logos to a shelf company that he’s also the VP of. There aren’t too many reasons why transferring the remainder of Palm to a shelf company would be warranted, unless Alcatel Onetouch is planning on resurrecting the brand.
Alcatel Onetouch has released devices in the past named Palm, so this could be a giant ploy to protect themselves from legal issues. Though, there wouldn’t be much reason to transfer it all to a shelf company, just to avoid getting sued. The only other valid reason this is happening is because the company is actually going to do something with the brand. Now remember, we haven’t heard official word that Alcatel Onetouch is bringing back Palm, but it seems as though that’s the only reasoning behind all of this trouble.
Alcatel Onetouch isn’t the most prominent brand out there, especially in the United States. They offer a few lower-end phones, though the entirety of their smartphone line is very low-cost. Only time will tell whether or not Alcatel Onetouch will actually do something with the Palm brand, but right now, it seems pretty likely.