palmOne Wins Summary Judgment Invalidating Xerox's Unistroke Patent
palmOne announced that summary judgment had been issued in its favor dismissing Xerox Corporation's claim that palmOne's former text-entry system, Graffiti, infringed a Xerox patent. In a decision released today, Judge Michael A. Telesca of the United States District Court for the Western District of New York held that the Xerox patent was invalid.
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 summary judgment ruling will result in the dismissal of a lawsuit brought by Xerox in 1997 against Palm, Inc. and its former parent, 3Com Corp. Palm, Inc. has since spun off PalmSource, Inc., maker of the Palm OS platform, and acquired Handspring, Inc. to form palmOne, Inc. palmOne had retained liability for the Xerox matter.
"We firmly believed that the broad interpretation of the patent, as it evolved in this case, would render the patent invalid," said Mary Doyle, senior vice president and general counsel for palmOne. "We are very pleased that this court has agreed."
"This is a terrific outcome," said Todd Bradley, palmOne president and chief executive officer. "We've persevered for years to achieve this result and the vindication palmOne deserves."
The Xerox patent in question is U.S. Patent No. 5,596,656, which covered unistroke symbols. The court held that the patent was invalid because, "The prior art references anticipate and render obvious the claim," or that the unistroke system was not a unique invention.
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