Palm Inc. is licensing keyboard technology from Waterloo, Ont.-based Research In Motion Ltd. (RIM), maker of the BlackBerry wireless e-mail devices, for inclusion in its new line of Tungsten W high-end wireless handhelds.

The deal, announced Thursday, signals both a new direction for Palm’s handheld designs, while also displaying a relaxation of RIM’s grip on its intellectual property. It is the second licensing deal that RIM has struck this week, after announcing a similar agreement with Handspring Inc. Tuesday. [Please see Handspring to license RIM keyboards.]

Palm plans to integrate RIM’s keyboard technology into the upcoming wireless versions of its recently launched Tungsten line, aimed at corporate users.

The deal will allow Palm to offer versatile wireless products to mobile professionals, Palm Solutions Group President and Chief Executive Officer Todd Bradley said in a statement.

Specific terms of the licensing agreement were not disclosed.

RIM is on the Web at Palm, in Milpitas, Calif., is online at