MobileInfocenter

Palm and Xerox Settle Graffiti Dispute

Palm today announced that it has settled a patent infringement lawsuit first filed by Xerox Corporation nine years ago. Under the settlement, Palm will pay Xerox $22.5 million, which includes licensing fees for Unistrokes and two other patents. The agreement also calls for "patent peace," a seven-year mutual covenant not to sue within mutually agreed fields of use.

Xerox first filed the suit in April 1997 against U.S. Robotics, then the owners of Palm Computing, alleging that Palm's Graffiti handwriting recognition software infringed a Xerox United States patent relating to computerized recognition of handwriting.

Xerox's input technology is called Unistrokes and was patented in 1997. The patent in question is U.S. Patent No. 5,596,656, which covers unistroke touch screen input symbols.

Agreement
Palm will pay Xerox $22.5 million for a fully paid-up license for three Xerox patents, including Unistrokes, and a seven-year mutual covenant not to sue for patent infringement within mutually agreed fields of use. Palm will account for the license as a charge against earnings in its fourth quarter of fiscal year 2006. Under the settlement, Palm's co-defendants, including PalmSource, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of ACCESS Co., Ltd., and 3Com Corp. will receive a full and unconditional release from the litigation, and each is entitled to a fully paid-up license to the Unistrokes patent.

Related Articles:

Article Comments

 (24 comments)

The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. PalmInfocenter is not responsible for them in any way.
Please Login or register here to add your comments.

Start a new Comment Down

New Graffiti?

jfme @ 6/28/2006 1:17:04 PM # Q
Does this mean Graffiti 3?

= Graffiti 1 + Graffiti 2

RE: New Graffiti?
MegaManXcalibur @ 6/28/2006 1:38:47 PM # Q
Hopefully it means Graffiti 1 will come back to us, at least as an option...

Then again knowing Palm probably not.

RE: New Graffiti?
JarJar @ 6/28/2006 2:20:46 PM # Q
The guys at Xerox were fools for not settling sooner. Xerox could have taken away much more if they had simply sold out five years ago. Today, Palm doesn't have any more to give.
RE: New Graffiti?
hkklife @ 6/28/2006 3:46:02 PM # Q
Here's an easy way for Palm to make some GUARANTEED $:

Release a $20/download updater (ROM updaters for some devices, RAM updaters for the cheap-o ones) program sold at palm.com for everything released since the T|T (include the rare 4.1.2 Zire & M515 with Graffiti 2 as well). Palm can also include support for Treos if it's technically feasible. Give users the choice of totally classic Graffiti 1/Classic and G2 (some kind of pref that can be easily toggled). Then maybe on future devices have some sort of Graffiti 3 hybrid standard with the option to pay to revert back to "classic" G1 or G2. Or just stick with G2 on the handful of non-Treo/non-keyboard devices that Palm releases in the future.

That way ALL users are happy, Palm recoups some of the licensing $ paid to Xerox, AND sets a precedent within the (modern) mobile industry by allowing the user to choose their input method of choice. WinMob/PPC users have had a choice for some time now so it's about time for POS users to have a LEGAL, bug-free alternative to Graffiti 2!

P.S. Anyone remember when Colligan hinted a year or more ago at possibly some new "improved" Graffiti experience coming out in the near future?



Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX-->Treo 700P

Reply to this comment

Let's hope G1 comes back

sremick @ 6/28/2006 2:48:38 PM # Q
If Graffiti 1 returns as an option (I'm fine if G1 is default, even if I don't agree with it), then that's one major barrier down preventing me from upgrading from my T3.

http://vtbsd.net/winhelp/
RE: Let's hope G1 comes back
sremick @ 6/28/2006 3:05:30 PM # Q
EDIT: I meant that I'm fine if G2 is the default, as long as G1 is an option.

http://vtbsd.net/winhelp/
RE: Let's hope G1 comes back
HandyMan @ 6/29/2006 1:45:48 AM # Q
G1 works fine on my TX ;)

RE: Let's hope G1 comes back
pjp @ 6/29/2006 7:32:23 AM # Q
Is there somewhere an info how to do that (G1 on TX)?
RE: Let's hope G1 comes back
dserodio @ 6/29/2006 9:14:50 AM # Q
Reply to this comment

Thank Gawd.

joad @ 6/28/2006 2:45:31 PM # Q
Ok Palm - now let's get Graffiti "classic" back into all the firmware pronto!!!!!

Finally - Palms can be as "Palm Compatible" as Windows Mobile!!!

Reply to this comment

T|E2 hack to restore/add G1?

ranbarton @ 6/28/2006 4:56:52 PM # Q
I have heard this is possible with other units, but any pointers to directions for the T|E2?

Thank you.

--
Ran Barton

Reply to this comment

Why G1?

DonPaqui @ 6/28/2006 10:58:54 PM # Q
I've never used G1, my first pda was Z71 which came with G2. Why would anyone want to use G1? Is is that much better? Before I used to think that it was because people got used to it and didn't want to change to G1. But by now I guess most of the people using pda's already got used to G2, so can someone please tell me why is G1 so great?

RE: Why G1?
Scott R @ 6/28/2006 11:26:58 PM # Q
Yes, G1 really *is* much better than G2. ;)

http://Tapland.com
- Tapwave Zodiac News, Reviews, & Discussion -
RE: Why G1?
sremick @ 6/29/2006 9:10:42 AM # Q
Well, basically two reasons. First of all, you are correct: some of it is just habit. But when you spend YEARS using a certain input style, it's going to become the fastest one for you.

Secondly, though... all else being equal, it IS arguably the better of the two input methods. Palm put a lot of work into the ideas behind a "unistroke" shorthand that could be written "blind". So certain characters are simplified so they don't have the added-complexity of a second stroke. Examples are A, F, K, T, and X. Each can be written in a single quick stroke without lifting the stylus up. At first it might seem that learning a new way of writing would make things HARDER by definition, but in truth it doesn't take long to learn, and once learned becomes second-nature and not something one even has to think about. Part of the reason G1 proponents want it back so-badly is because of how ingrained it is into their input habits.

So in G1, Palm designed it to benefit the user.

When the Xerox lawsuit came up, Palm had to modify Graffiti in order to differenciate it from similar concepts Xerox had come up with from their own research (and unfortunately had patented). So Palm had to "break" Graffiti and make some characters 2-stroke ones again. This got them out of legal trouble, but it's important to recognize here that the change wasn't to benefit the user, it was to end the lawsuit (unfortunately, by specifically removing things that made G1 good). Of course, Palm tries to spin G2 and market it as being "better" by nature of being closer to natural writing, but you can't so easily just whitewash over what many more years of research prior had shown: G1 is faster.

Now, if you have someone who's only ever known G2 of course they're going to like it. They've never experienced the extra efficiency of G1. If they'd rather use G2, either without trying G1 or after, I could really care less... it's personal choice (although if they haven't tried G1 I'd strongly suggest they give it some time to discover its benefits). However, for many many YEARS Palm used G1 exclusively and a huge foundation of their original fanbase were brought up on G1 for most of their Palm-using lives. At the very least, Palm should respect that and still offer G1 as an OPTION, even if they are going to stubbornly keep G2 the default in an attempt to save face.

I really get tired of people who've only ever used G2 telling us to "get over it" and just use G2. I have no problem with them using G2 if they chose, I just want to be able to have the choice to NOT use G2 and instead use the same input method I've mastered from years with many different Palms, which I've found to be faster than G2. If the "get over it" users want to live in ignorance, fine... just don't drag me down into it as well.

http://vtbsd.net/winhelp/

RE: Why G1?
hkklife @ 7/1/2006 10:19:50 AM # Q
Sremick;

Superbbly stated & very convincing. I couldn't have said it any better...or so succinctly, for that matter.

Let's all just hope that SOMEONE at Palm is reading this and can convince the powers that be to offer a "downloable for $" plugin to restore FULL, classic Graffiti 1 functionality. Restoring G1 would make a keyboard-less 320*480 Treo all the more appealing...



Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX-->Treo 700P

Reply to this comment

what a scam

pmjoe @ 6/28/2006 11:05:49 PM # Q
patent handwriting, get $22.5 million

People have been using sticks to communicate with handwriting for what, 5,000-6,000 years?

Xerox has invented all kinds of great things that they didn't get money for. Unistroke, AKA handwriting, wasn't one of those great things.

RE: what a scam
Konstantin @ 6/28/2006 11:54:05 PM # Q
The Xerox's patent is for unistrokes, the one stroke per letter input method.
You are free to handwrite whatever you want tho.


When I grow up.
There will be a day.
When every Palm will be as I say.


RE: what a scam
SeldomVisitor @ 6/29/2006 7:49:37 AM # Q
My Dear Ol' Ma actually was a shorthand whiz back in the 30s (yikes!). She used it much later in life for taking notes for something or other.

Sure looks like single stroke stuff to me.

Varying what she used by some literally-tiny amount and patenting it seems...wrong to me.

(BTW - I am NOT a shorthand weenie - for all I know my Dear Ol' Ma =did= use single strokes to represent individual letters as well as the standard use for entire words)

RE: what a scam
SeldomVisitor @ 6/29/2006 7:55:21 AM # Q
In fact, individual letters ARE represented by single strokes - check things out a few pages in:

-- http://www.amazon.ca/gp/reader/0070245487/ref=sib_dp_pt/701-3454579-0674731#reader-page

So the question becomes - how in the world did Xerox get away with this patent? An application of an electronic device?

RE: what a scam
joad @ 6/29/2006 1:13:26 PM # Q
Next - Xerox will sue yo' mama as well as the monks of old for preemptively using their patent, even before they "invented" it.

BTW- I'm working on a patent for inhaling and exhaling oxygen via the mouth or nose - I'm going to call it "breathing." With the level of apparent rubberstamping going on for obvious things at the Patent Office nowadays, this ought to slide through pretty quickly. Then, I work on my "full employment for attorneys" project (patent pending).

RE: what a scam
SeldomVisitor @ 6/29/2006 7:05:07 PM # Q
> ...I'm working on a patent for inhaling and exhaling
> oxygen via the mouth or nose...

You saw the "swinging from side to side" patent, right?

-- http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-bool.html&r=2&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PTXT&s1=6,368,227&OS=6,368,227&RS=6,368,227

Giggle.

Reply to this comment

What I think of Xerox.

VampireLestat @ 6/29/2006 1:37:04 AM # Q
22$M for single strokes?!

Because of the suit against Palm, I hate Xerox and they are staying on my "do not buy from" blacklist of money-grubbing scumbag dawdlers.

I hope Grafitti 3 is identical to G2 but adds single stroke characters.

So what happens after the 7 year grace period? Xerox will sue again?

22$M jeez... sigh. THAT IS A LOT OF PALM HANDHELD RESEARCH MONEY GONE DOWN THE DRAIN!

RE: What I think of Xerox.
joad @ 6/29/2006 1:18:47 PM # Q
"PALM HANDHELD RESEARCH MONEY".... har-har-har! Stop it- you're killing me!!!

Not long after dumping the 16MB-22MB $600 Treo 650 on us (unreasonably skimping on internal memory resulting in a *LOT* of problems obvious to even basic users in the first week of it's release), they spent THIRTY million dollars ($30,000,000) to acquire the name "Palm."

Hardly seems like a company doing much research anyhow. Remember - Palm's idea of a cell phone was the Tungsten W: a big clunky kludge of an oversized PDA *WITHOUT* a microphone!!

Palm's redeeming feature was they had enough cash to buy out Handspring and get the Treo - but you gotta wonder why the world's "leading handheld manufacturer" couldn't design the Treo on their own. Can't really blame Xerox for that.



RE: What I think of Xerox.
hkklife @ 6/30/2006 10:03:24 AM # Q
Palm, in its CURRENT state, is a marketing company first & foremost.

After Hawkins carved out his block of wood and came up with the basic core of the original Palm Pilot, Palm/PalmOne has left all innovation up to Ideo (iconic Palm V design), Handera/TRG (virtual Graffiti etc etc etc), Handspring (Treo 600 FF + whole Treo concept + USB Hotsync), Sony (tweaking OS4 for multimedia, color 320*320 screens etc).

Palm's just been rather savvy in their marketing, branding, and name recognition. Having a (still) formidable retail presence vs. everyone else in the segment doesn't hurt matters either.

Remember, many folks still call refrigerators "Frigidaires", copy machines "Xerox" machines, every soft drink a "Coke" and all tissues "Kleenex". So there's bound to be a lot of trickle down sales & benefits when people see something associated with the original "Palm Pilot".

So, yes, give Palm MANY kudos for keeping the ship not just afloat but profitable for how many quarters in a row. But that's all due to marketing savvy/lack of worhtwhile competition in the smartphone sector, and being the only man standing in the traditional PDA market. Essentially, smoke & mirrors have ruled the roost at Palm ever since the days of, oh, the Palm V's introduction (Fall of 1999 for those who still care).

Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX-->Treo 700P

Reply to this comment
Start a New Comment Thread Top

Account

Register Register | Login Log in
user:
pass:

Latest Comments