Xerox Wins Appeal of Palm Patent-Infringement Lawsuit
Tuesday, October 09, 2001
ROCHESTER, N.Y.--Oct. 8, 2001--The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has ruled in favor of Xerox Corporation, allowing litigation to proceed in a lawsuit filed by Xerox that claims key technology in Palm handheld electronic organizers violates a Xerox patent. In April 1997, Xerox sued U.S. Robotics, later acquired by 3Com, claiming that the handwriting recognition technology marketed as Graffiti and used in Palm handheld devices infringed a Xerox patent received on Jan. 21, 1997. The technology in question, known as Unistrokes, was invented at Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center. A federal judge in Rochester had dismissed the suit in June 2000, saying that the Palm software did not use the same recognition patterns as Xerox's software did. However, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has now reversed that decision, saying the judge misinterpreted how and where the symbols must be written to be recognized by the computer. The case will now continue in the District Court, enabling Xerox to prove willful infringement of this valuable intellectual property. "Palm and 3Com now have lost two rounds in their effort to avoid the patent,'' said Christina Clayton, Xerox general counsel. "In 1997, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office certified all of the Xerox Unistroke patent claims as valid. Now the Court of Appeals has reversed a finding of no infringement and defined the use of Graffiti in the Palm devices clearly within the scope of the Xerox claims. "Xerox will undertake whatever is needed to protect this groundbreaking invention and valuable patent from unauthorized use and infringement,'' added Clayton. The case has been remanded to U.S. District Court, Western District of New York, in Rochester.