Apple’s de facto leader, Tim Cook, seemed to threaten legal action against Palm (in so many words) during the earnings conference call this week for their use of multi-touch interface in the Palm Pre. 

We like competition, as long as they don’t rip off our IP, and if they do, we’re going to go after anybody that does … We will not stand for having our IP ripped off and we’ll use whatever weapons we have at our disposal [to make sure that doesn’t happen]. I don’t know that I can be more clear than that.

Palms stock dropped 6%.  Those are mighty big words to the bottom line.

What to do?  Palm fired back, in slightly less harsh terms this morning with…

Well, if Palm was shaken by Cook’s remarks, it’s not letting on. Asked if such aggro rhetoric about Apple’s intellectual property and the grim legal fate of those who might pilfer it worried the company, Palm spokesperson Lynn Fox said not in the least. “Palm has a long history of innovation that is reflected in our products and robust patent portfolio (31 pages of patents in Google Patent Search), and we have long been recognized for our fundamental patents in the mobile space,” she told Digital Daily. “If faced with legal action, we are confident that we have the tools necessary to defend ourselves.”

You think Fred Anderson and Jon Rubinstein (ex Applers) are starting to piss off the current crew?

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