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palmOne Returns to Palm Name

Milipitas, Calif. — In a return to its roots, palmOne announced today it will purchase the Palm name from PalmSource and will change its name to Palm, Inc. later this year.

As both palmOne and PalmSource own the Palm name, palmOne will pay PalmSource $30 million for PalmSource’s 55 percent share of the Palm Trademark Holding Company.Payment will be made in installments over 3.5 years.

“The letters P-A-L-M reflect a prized brand with significant customer awareness and earned loyalty,” said Ed Colligan, palmOne’s president/CEO, adding “We intend to invest to turn what is a strong name today into a household word synonymous with leadership in mobile computing.”

As part of the agreement, palmOne has granted PalmSource certain rights to Palm trademarks for PalmSource and its licensees for a four-year transition period.

A new logo and design treatment will be unveiled later this summer, said palmOne, and future products, including those to be released this fall, are expected to carry the Palm, rather than palmOne, name.

Stephen Baker, industry analysis director for NPD Techworld, Reston, Va., said the purchase of the Palm name, in part, will help PalmSource.

“I think some of this is about the fact that, comparatively speaking, the hardware has been doing better than the software. So I think it’s a way for Palm the hardware company to make sure PalmSource makes some money to stay in business, as well as way for palmOne to get back control of the Palm name,” he said.

The history of the Palm name dates back to 1992 with the founding of Palm Computing, which was acquired by U.S. Robotics in 1995, which was in turn acquired by 3Com in June 1997. The company then became an independent publicly traded company on March 2, 2000.