Palm Infringed on Xerox Patent, Court Rules
Xerox Corp. on Thursday announced that it has won a four and a half-year-old suit against Palm Inc., as The U.S. District Court ruled that Palms Graffiti handwriting language infringes upon Xerox handwriting recognition patents.
Judge Michael Telesca, U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York, ruled in the lawsuit originally filed by Xerox that the companys ''patent is valid and enforceable, and that Grafitti infringes upon it.
In April 1997, Xerox sued U.S. Robotics, which was later acquired by 3Com Corp., claiming that the handwriting recognition technology marketed as Graffiti and used in Palm handheld devices infringed a Xerox patent received on Jan. 21, 1997 for its Unistrokes technology. Palm is now an independent company.
Graffiti technology requires users to learn a special way to write the alphabet in order for the Palm OS to recognize the letters. It is an integral part of the Palm operating system.
The decision ends the liability portion of the case, and now Xerox is free to seek damages in the next phase of trial. Xerox, which recently expanded its own e-service business, may either try to stop Palm from using Graffiti or to make Palm license handwriting recognition technology from Xerox, according to officials in the Rochester, N.Y., company.
The trial court will determine the amount of damages for past infringement of the patent and Palms ability to continue to use the technology. Both Palm and 3Com are jointly and separately liable, the court ruled.