Case | HBS Case Collection | January 1996

Palm Computing, Inc. (A)

by Myra M. Hart

Abstract

Discusses patents, licenses, and deal making in a start-up venture. The entrepreneur, Jeff Hawkins, holds a patent on Palm Print, a pattern recognition algorithm. After licensing Palm Print to his employer, he led three years of development of commercial products for the company. Focuses on Hawkins's efforts to start a new, noncompeting venture that requires cross-licenses for the Palm Print enhancements. The employer wants Hawkins to stay to develop the new products "in-house" and resists making an agreement.

Keywords: Intellectual Property; Patents; Agreements and Arrangements; Negotiation Deal; Business Startups; Management Teams;

Citation:

Hart, Myra M. "Palm Computing, Inc. (A)." Harvard Business School Case 396-245, January 1996.