Asked during yesterday's sales call about Apple's plans to deal with the competitors to the iPhone like Android and the Palm Pre, Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook's voice took on a dangerous edge, like a rusty razor drawn suddenly across a protruding throat.
We approach this business as a software platform business. We are watching the landscape. We like competition as long as they don’t rip off our IP. And if they do, we will go after anyone who does.
Asked if he was specifically talking about Palm and the Pre, Cook began to smash his fist against the table rhythmically, his voice rising into an insane falsetto while his fellow conference call participants laughed with nervous sycophancy:
I don’t want to talk about any specific company. We are ready to suit up and go against anyone. However, we will not stand for having our IP ripped off.
He then closed with a joke about invading Poland, which resulted in riotous laughter and applause.
In all seriousness, what Cook seems to be referring to is the Palm Pre's multitouch screen, which the iPhone has patented up the wazoo... but threatening to sue competitors for daring to come up with their own independent method for tracking two or more fingers across a screen is the very definition of patent evil.