Comments on: Palm Loses Graffiti Lawsuit

Palm Inc. and 3Com have lost a patent lawsuit with Xerox. A judge ruled today that Graffiti does infringe on a patent Xerox holds on a handwriting recognition method, called Unistrokes.

The lawsuit will now move on the the penalty phase. The court will decide if Palm has to pay damages and if it is allowed to continue to use the technology. Xerox will urge the court to either require Palm to stop using Graffiti entirely or pay royalties.

Update: Palm has just announced that it will appeal this ruling. "We assert that the Graffiti handwriting technology does not infringe the Xerox patent and that Palm has strong arguments to support its defense," said Eric Benhamou, chairman and CEO. "Palm will defend itself vigorously and does not intend for this litigation to affect its business strategy or business model nor that of its licensees."

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bad news

popko @ 12/20/2001 5:05:57 PM #
With Palm's current financial stats, Xerox is simply adding firewood to let it burn faster.

RE: Palm's going to be for sale soon
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/21/2001 2:53:37 AM #
looks like palm's going to be bought soon....
wonder who it will be????

RE: bad news
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/21/2001 10:56:05 AM #
no one has been looking into buying palm. not even apple! If there was one, i would guess earthlink. My reason is they have been trying to enter the pda world with a wireless add on for 3 years around now. Now they finally got in and might want more.
PDANature - reviews, commentarys, hourly refreshed pda news, and whatnot! Check it out @ http://pdan.has.it


Can you say Uh-Oh!

I.M. Anonymous @ 12/20/2001 5:06:41 PM #
Not good. I wonder if this is why the Handspring TREO is moving towards the integrated keyboards instead of Graffiti?

RE: Can you say Uh-Oh!
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/20/2001 5:23:16 PM #
Oh, wait, I think I invented the QWERTY systems back in 2000, but don't ask me why we've been using it since the '80s, because I will sue you, sue you, and sue you.

Mxrxn
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/21/2001 11:33:15 AM #
QWERTY is a standard keyboard layout .....

RE: Can you say Uh-Oh!
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/21/2001 11:56:30 AM #
...it's called sarcasm.

RE: Can you say Uh-Oh!
TROLL @ 12/21/2001 7:14:11 PM #
You couldn't have invented the QWERTY keyboard in 2000. I've been using them since the 1980s when I invented the first QWERTY keyboard by using Chiclets gum and Krazy glue.

My lawyers willl be in touch.

****************************************
The trolls always have the last laugh...

And the hits just keeps on coming...

I.M. Anonymous @ 12/20/2001 5:14:33 PM #
hope palm survives this one.

RE: And the hits just keeps on coming...
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/20/2001 6:27:27 PM #
How do you spell "APPEAL"?

This is far from being over.

More like love taps
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/21/2001 11:41:20 AM #
Palm's stock price is UP today. No one believes Palm is going anywhere. Xerox is just hoping to make some money off them. If Xerox does get royalties, demanding compensatory damages that put Palm out of business would kill the cash cow.

All of this is far from over. Bear Sterns analyst Andy Neff said "It's the kind of thing that puts lawyers' kids through college."

Why not go after Microsoft too?

I.M. Anonymous @ 12/20/2001 5:19:36 PM #
Just an additional thought, if Xerox is going after Graffiti under the PalmOS doesn't seems likely they should also sue Microsoft (chicken do I hear?)

Microsoft's handwriting recognition used on the PPC uses some of the same keystrokes as Graffiti... Or is Xerox in bed with Microsoft and trying to do Palm in?

Anyone have any detailed insight into the lawsuit? It's the first I've heard of it. The above question is not based on any facts, just theory.

RE: Why not go after Microsoft too?
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/20/2001 5:27:44 PM #
Sorry, just read this part "It is not yet known whether Xerox plans to sue other makers of handheld operating systems, like Microsoft, who also include some form of handwriting recognition."

RE: Why not go after Microsoft too?
Coyote67 @ 12/20/2001 8:44:01 PM #
It is yet unknown whether xerox, a company who is in a lot of financial trouble and is looking for anyone to leech off will sue microsoft, a company who will squish them like a bug. Stay tuned.

---------------------------------------
When you have a Clie shoved up your mouth, you can only talk in vowels.
RE: Why not go after Microsoft too?
Cheetah @ 12/21/2001 12:41:30 AM #
The new PPC 2002 OS has a new handwriting option that is almost identical to Graffiti. M$ intentionally added it to the PPC to lure away Palm users.

Can't see how Xerox would NOT sure M$ also.

RE: Why not go after Microsoft too?
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/21/2001 12:45:10 AM #
Perhaps they're using Palm as a stepping stone... Since Xerox is in a financial hole, it'll get some money from Palm with which to take Microsoft on. :)

RE: Why not go after Microsoft too?
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/21/2001 11:52:09 AM #
Microsoft, I believe, licensed Unistrokes from Xerox to avoid this very problem.

RE: Why not go after Microsoft too?
Scott @ 12/21/2001 1:45:26 PM #
Or perhaps to add credibility to Xerox's suit?


RE: Why not go after Microsoft too?
Coyote67 @ 12/21/2001 6:48:40 PM #
You have anything actually factual to back this up anonymous?

---------------------------------------
When you have a Clie shoved up your mouth, you can only talk in vowels.
RE: Why not go after Microsoft too?
TROLL @ 12/21/2001 6:58:03 PM #
FACT: Xerox is clutching at straws and is looking for a cash cow (licensing fees from the dominant PDA maker).

FACT: Palm will appeal this decision and probably win this case.

FACT: Xerox cannot afford to antagonize Microsoft. No company can. Furthermore, Microsoft has already licensed a variation of Xerox's character set.

FACT: Palm has wasted tens of millions in recent years fighting nuisance suits from golddiggers like Xerox. It's a shame companies have to deal with nonsense like this. This is (a small part of the reason) why Palm tries to sell it's PDAs for as much as they do.

Welcome to Big Business 101.
Our first lesson is how to take advantage of others while avoiding being taken advantage of.

****************************************
The trolls always have the last laugh...

RE: Why not go after Microsoft too?
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/27/2001 10:12:35 AM #
Here is one place it's been reported, Coyote. It's been reported in a number of places that Microsoft is safe from any legal action because they have a license from Xerox.

http://www.writingonyourpalm.net/column011224.htm

Xerox is hurting financially...

I.M. Anonymous @ 12/20/2001 5:33:04 PM #
And they will vigorously go after any cash cow they possibly can. With punitive damages, the penalty could be like $20 for every PalmOS unit ever sold. How many PalmOS units have been sold since 1996? 10 million? That's $200 Million bucks that Palm doesn't have. Can you say "BANKRUPTCY"?

RE: Xerox is hurting financially...
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/20/2001 5:37:47 PM #
Not to mention how this can effect their Licensees?

What about SONY, HandEra, Symbol, Handspring and Samsung? A license for the PalmOS was sold by Palm to the handheld makers. What if Xerox Demands $20 of Palm for the license to these folks too? What if the Graffiti license is higher than the sale price for the OS? Since they now legally own Graffiti, they can charge whatever they want. This is REALLY bad news for Palm. The only product that may be safe is the Keyboard enabled TREO that does not rely on Graffiti at all.

RE: Xerox is hurting financially...
Ed @ 12/20/2001 5:57:28 PM #
Considering that each of the licensees pays less than a $10 fee for each handheld, I think Xerox would have a hard time arguing that they should be paid $20 just for the handwriting recognition. About $1 or maybe $2 seems more reasonable to me. I believe about 17 million Palm OS handhelds have been sold over the years. That works out to, at most, $34 million. Not chump change but Palm has $241 in cash right now.

Also, you can be sure that Palm will appeal this decision. It may be years before any money is actually paid, if ever.

---
News Editor

RE: Xerox is hurting financially...
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/20/2001 6:11:36 PM #
Xerox have always produced crap products, and after looking at Unistrokes I can see that they've racked up another! Who in their right mind would want to use such an awful system?!?

May Xerox and their lawyers rot in hell!


RE: Xerox is hurting financially...
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/20/2001 11:11:20 PM #
I was wondering, does Gates has Xerox stocks ???

RE: Xerox is hurting financially...
Scott @ 12/21/2001 1:50:55 PM #
Microsoft teamed up with Xerox not long ago in a joint effort for digital licensing technology (as in ebooks, music, etc.). This arrangement resulted in MS giving Xerox a boost financially. Note that this was just the past couple of years. Xerox was awarded their patent in 1/97 and filed suit three months later in 4/97.

Scott

Earlier Than That Even.

I.M. Anonymous @ 12/20/2001 5:36:21 PM #
Even before the Pilot 1000 and 5000, like in 1993 or 1994 you could install Grafitti on a Newton as a software package rather than use the built in HWR. Not sure who was the developer/distributor of that. But it was the same Grafitti that the Pilot used/uses.

RE: Earlier Than That Even.
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/20/2001 5:38:50 PM #
I thought AL GORE INVENTED GRAFFITI???!!!!

RE: Earlier Than That Even.
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/20/2001 6:18:52 PM #
The version for the Newton came from Palm Computing! Before they managed to get the Pilot out the door.

RE: Earlier Than That Even.
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/20/2001 10:43:28 PM #
The Newton HWR (Codename Rosetta) was developed by Apple Computers. In fact there working at the same time 3 independent HWR machines in the Newton. And the recognition is far better rhan anything on the market today

And I user my Newton MP 2001G (side by side to a army of Palms) every day - the Palm is no match for "the old green"

The Newton is in so many ways superior and much more elegant and refined to Palm that one could fill 1.000 pages - and not get to the end.

Boris von Luhovoy
publishing editor
Palmtop-pro Magazine
www.palmtop.at

RE: Earlier Than That Even.
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/20/2001 10:57:49 PM #

Yes, yes, yes, we all know the MP2100 HWR was the best we have seen in the world of computing to date, but obviously you did not have an OMP (Original MessagePad) that was released in 1993. The HWR, in a word, sucked. Hell, even the Simpson's made fun of it with the "Eat Up Martha" joke.
Anyways, one of the first apps that was released for the Newton was Graffiti. A little box popped up in the corner of the screen and you wrote in the box vs. where you normally would. One of many by the character input softwares, actually, another being Gesture Mosaic, anyone remember that one? So. Who the hell was that that released Graffiti in 1993? Not Xerox...



RE: Earlier Than That Even.
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/21/2001 10:50:02 AM #
I worked in a computer lab in college back in '93. Somehow we got a Newton in and I messed around with it for a couple of weeks. I don't know if it got any better after that, but i thought the HWR was pretty bad. I consider Grafitti to be much better.

RE: Earlier Than That Even.
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/21/2001 11:36:29 AM #
Maybe it's because of your bad handwriting ......

Anyone remember Graffiti on the Newton?

Token @ 12/20/2001 5:36:06 PM #
This predates the use of Graffiti in the Palm OS to sometime in the early 90's.

When will judges presiding on tech cases be required to have knowledge of the tech industry before handing down rulings? I guess that the "prior art" defense for patent infringement didn't work for Palm in this case.

RE: Anyone remember Graffiti on the Newton?
MadMax @ 12/20/2001 10:20:29 PM #
Newton Handwriting was far more advanced than Graffiti. Not to knock Grafitti, I use it everyday. But, the Newton's Handwriting could understand print as well as cursive. There was no "one stroke" writing there.

Road Warrior

RE: Anyone remember Graffiti on the Newton?
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/21/2001 12:15:58 AM #
Umm, yes there was - you could get Grafitti for the Newton. Exactly the same as the version we all know on the Palm. It was written by Palm (Jeff) for the Newton.

Graffiti on Newton is Just LAME
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/21/2001 1:45:14 AM #
Newton already got the most advanced HWR. I still don't understand why they port Graffiti on Newton. Not that I don't want to thank him for writing software for Newton, but thanks but no thanks. It's like porting windows on a Mac.

RE: Anyone remember Graffiti on the Newton?
Token @ 12/21/2001 12:53:16 PM #
Did you ever own a Newton? The handwriting recognition was OK, but not brilliant (there were a number of Doonsbery stripes about the handwriting recognition at the time). Graffiti was a replacement for the natural handwriting "digital ink" transcription that the Newton used. By using a standardised set of keystrokes, input accuracy was increased dramatically.
Yes, it was Jeff Hawkins that wrote the original Graffiti package for the Newton (an archive I saw had version 1.0 dated as October '94).

I think the Xerox patent is not for the strokes used in unistroke vs graffiti (or jot for that matter), but over the use of a standardised set of movements to represent characters to a digital device. This patent is as stupid as Amazons "One Click Checkout" patent.

RE: Anyone remember Graffiti on the Newton?
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/23/2001 1:02:53 AM #
"Did you ever own a Newton? The handwriting recognition was OK, but not brilliant (there were a number of Doonsbery stripes about the handwriting recognition at the time). Graffiti was a replacement for the natural handwriting "digital ink" transcription that the Newton used."

in fact I do own a Newton, and I am Still using one, actually I sold my first and only palm pilot Pro for a newton 2100, that's why I know how much better HWR on Newton is.

The graffiti thingy might be useful back in 1994, but with the release of MP130 and MP2x00 series Newton has pretty much perfected it's HWR "print recognizer" technology. it would be really stupid for Newton user to "replace" the built-in HWR with Graffiti.

RE: Anyone remember Graffiti on the Newton?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/21/2002 3:51:13 AM #
Newton HWR? I think that's called Transcriber on the PPC

NO WAY...Graffiti is far more logical...

I.M. Anonymous @ 12/20/2001 5:32:18 PM #
Hence, it has become the defacto standard for pen-based user input.

Check out this image of the Xerox Unistroke character set:

http://www.geek.com/images/geeknews/jan00/unistroke.gif

(A good article on the topic over at geek.com as well.)

Take note of where the pen-strokes begin.

No WAY would I use this input method over Graffiti(R)!!!!


RE: NO WAY...Graffiti is far more logical...
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/20/2001 5:48:40 PM #
I had long been led to believe that Hawkins once worked for Xerox or something. I had figured the whol graffiti idea was his and he "took it with him" from Xerox. Since he developed it while working for Xerox, it could be certainly argued that they owned the rights to it.

Like I said, that's what I _used_ to believe. I recently read a bio on Hawkins and saw no mention of him working at Xerox. Then I take a look at that picture of the Xerox unistroke characterset and I have to say I'm dumbfounded. The only thing they share in common is that they are all done using one stroke. The characters themselves are completely different.

I really hope Palm can fight and win this one without having to waste too much money on it. For shame Xerox!

Scott

RE: NO WAY...Graffiti is far more logical...
GregGaub @ 12/20/2001 5:52:34 PM #
Oh man, that chart is a MESS!
If that chart makes Graffiti an infringement, then ANY recognition software that has a pre-defined set of strokes to represent letters, no matter what the strokes are, also infringes on their copyright. At least most of the Graffiti strokes are like the actual letters.
I seriously hope they go after M$ over this same issue, not only for their text recognizer, but for their new block recognizer. Hell, I bet if you look deep enough, transcriber is just a step or two away from stroke recognition software, and that it just uses the faster processor to compare multiple stroke definitions and such. By this token, any handwriting recognition at all is an infringement of Xerox's patent.
do they have a patent on shorthand as well? Who invented the typewriter? Do all keyboard makers have to pay a license to the person who invented the qwerty layout?!?
I'm a direct descendant of the man who invented the English language. I'm going to sue everyone on the planet for using my ancestor's invention!
feh.

RE: NO WAY...Graffiti is far more logical...
Midknyte @ 12/20/2001 5:55:48 PM #
Ok, I agree that they are similar enough to be considered infringing - but, whoever designed those [stroke] starting points at Xerox is on crack!



RE: NO WAY...Graffiti is far more logical...
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/20/2001 6:11:18 PM #
I guess Xerox was in need of money, so they sued the judge to win there favor(or just a bad judge). I do think that the graffity is just like zerox's character set, expet different strokes. So maybe palm got the idea from zerox and Microsoft got the idea from palm?

I sure hope Palm has some pretty darn good lawers on there side(that actaully know about palms).

RE: Xerox is infringing on common sense!
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/20/2001 6:22:16 PM #
Unistrokes is so lame I can't believe it...

RE: NO WAY...Graffiti is far more logical...
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/20/2001 7:20:51 PM #
Uh-oh... Seems I've been writing like this since I was in Pre-K. Looks like Xerox will be after me too.



RE: NO WAY...Graffiti is far more logical...
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/20/2001 7:25:52 PM #
Xerox has been in hot financial waters for some time; suing Palm is akin to the final gasps of an also-ran...

RE: NO WAY...Graffiti is far more logical...
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/20/2001 7:30:08 PM #
Only real palm or PDA user knows that unistroke is absolutely different to Graffiti.

I guess the judge has never owned or even used a pen-input type PDA before. Otherwise he would know that its not even close to being similar.

I can see how someone can see the similarity though. Someone at Palm, Handspring and Sony should give this guy a unit for christmas.

RE: NO WAY...Graffiti is far more logical...
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/20/2001 9:17:27 PM #
> I had long been led to believe that Hawkins once worked for Xerox or something. I had figured the
> whol graffiti idea was his and he "took it with him" from Xerox.

I read somewhere that Hawkins dreamed up graffiti in college. He liked it so much, he created the Palm as an excuse to use graffiti on something. That's why it is so surprising to hear him predict that the keyboard-less Treo will be a big success.

I'm not a big fan of graffiti. If Palm lost the rights and had to add a mini-keyboard to all its models, I'd be real happy. I like the design of the new Zaurus. If someone made one like that that ran the Palm OS, I'd get it.

RE: NO WAY...Graffiti is far more logical...
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/20/2001 9:56:26 PM #
I agree completely. Grafitti makes sense, unistrokes is arcane.

RE: NO WAY...Graffiti is far more logical...
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/21/2001 5:43:17 AM #

I think the key issue here is whether the case was awarded on the similarity of the pen strokes, or on the concept of pen based character recognition.

The way I see it the Xerox case is without merit as the strokes in graffiti more or less mimic letters when hand writen. The judge here is obviously ignorant or senile.. or likely both.

I am certain Palm will appeal the issue. If Xerox does win in the end, maybe the ancestors of the guy that developed shorthand should have a crack at them for infringing that concept?



RE: NO WAY...Graffiti is far more logical...
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/21/2001 12:05:35 PM #
I understand the lawsuit. They aren't arguing the simularities (or lack of) of the character set.

The patent was on the IDEA of pen based character recognition and the underlying technology used to translate the characters.

The characters themselves could be Chinese mandarin.

If Palm can argue that the underlying technology for the character recognition is completely different than Xerox's, then they've got a chance.

Otherwise Palm is in big trouble, IMO.

RE: NO WAY...Graffiti is far more logical...
Scott @ 12/21/2001 1:47:01 PM #
Actually, I've since examined the patent and done some additional research via the web.

The patent is for the concept of a singlestroke method of inputing data. From that perspective, the ruling could stand. That said, I still believe that even if Hawkins had seen Unistrokes before inventing Graffiti, it wouldn't have been that long before. The earliest mention I can find of Unistrokes being invented is sometime in 1993. The earliest mention I found of Graffiti being released as a standalone app for the Zoomer and Newton is in 11/94. That means, he would have seen it about a year prior to releasing it on his own and would have made significant improvements to it during that time. Also, at the time he would have seen it and started work on Graffiti, it was not patented, nor was any patent pending.

Scott

RE: NO WAY...Graffiti is far more logical...
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/22/2001 11:58:29 AM #
I find the word IDEA funny. Chinese invented the idea of paper long time ago. So we all need to pay for the idea of using paper to the Chinese, right?

RE: NO WAY...Graffiti is far more logical...
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/1/2002 12:57:52 PM #
Wait a minute, Scott!!! This cannot be called a Patent!!! This is called BULL****!!! The underlying technology of "single stroke" is a very obvious idea and anyone who is SMART(yes, Jeff is smart!!!) will know that such a input method, which is easy, would definitely be a welcome and I or anyone for that purpose, don't need that STUPID Xerox to teach me that "common sense", do we???

Now if in 2002, and I were to realize that the current input technology is not good enough and came up with another system that also uses the same idea as "one stroke" but sifferent character set, does that mean I infringe on Xerox patent???

BULL****!!! UTTER BULL****!!!

If the judge is going to do such a judgement, ask him to go f**k that tree outside his office!!!

This is called hindering the developement of technology. If this is called patent infringement, that would mean I can't use "single stroke" method and have to use say, "two stroke" or "three stroke" method??? This is total absurd!!! This way, technology will NEVER improve!!! How about this, if Thomas Edison is still around and he has a patent for his invention, he might as well sue ALL lighting companies cause HE invented the light bulb and everthing was EVOLVED from it. Does that makes sense??? If that makes sense and if it were to happen, we would still be in STONE AGE!!! Stupid fools(Xerox and the F**K UP judge)!!!

In other words, only Xerox can use "single stroke" and all others have to use technology that have more than one stroke??? Ask Xerox go F**K the tree too!!!

I find this very ironic...

I.M. Anonymous @ 12/20/2001 5:53:45 PM #
Everyone loves to beat up Microsoft about stealing other companies' technology...ain't it funny now to see that Palm has done the same damn thing???

RE: I find this very ironic...
Midknyte @ 12/20/2001 5:59:30 PM #
uh, read above...

RE: I find this very ironic...
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/20/2001 6:06:50 PM #
Ignore him, he's just a troll and all he wants is attention.

RE: I find this very ironic...
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/20/2001 7:34:08 PM #
It's funny... That the truth hurts...
Can anyone here say OUCH!
:-) It's okay..cuz I am sure Palm is anyway at least.

Beware...

Ken0009 @ 12/20/2001 6:54:00 PM #
...if you write with a pen on a sheet of paper to take notes or draw something... someone could sue you...

This affair is nonsense !
Keep your palm(s) in a safe place, they will be collector(s) soon (may we won't be allowed to use our Palm anymore excepted by paying a "fee per Graffiti").

RE: Beware...
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/20/2001 7:18:00 PM #
Just goes to show you, if you have enough money and a stupid opinion you can eventually find a jackass on a bench that agrees with you. Sad.

RE: Beware...
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/21/2001 3:12:37 AM #
1- It seems that you have no sense of humour,
2- Try to write with another profile than I.M. Anonymous... your opinion is too...

RE: Beware...
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/21/2001 7:15:37 AM #
um...I think the guy was agreeing with you!

RE: Beware...
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/22/2001 12:51:17 AM #
Why beat up on the Judges. Why assume that they are at fault.
It is more likeley that Xerox has a patent, a broad patent on a system of writing/ inputting
letters onto a digital device. With a broad patent, the characters themselves do not have
to be identical. The system of inputting data has to be identical.
Justice may be blind, but it isn't generally stupid.
Perhaps this is an example of overly broad patents.
Then again, there may be more to the Xerox patent than we know.
Trial transcripts anyone ??

Xerox vs Humanity

MacBirdie @ 12/20/2001 7:30:34 PM #
Soon Xerox will sue the whole human civilisation, since everybody's using handwriting! :)

RE: Xerox vs Humanity
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/20/2001 7:36:41 PM #
I'm surprise that Xerox hasn't sued every scanner manufacture in the world for stealing the idea of copying an imagage and than being able to print it.

I guess Xerox is trying to make up for all the money they lost i nthe 80's, 90's and now for shoving their whole entire head about 3 feet up and in their @$$ for letting Apple and than MS take what they thought was a dumb, but playful idea of the mouse and windows concept of computing and letting billions of dollars slip away. Doh!

RE: Xerox vs Humanity
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/29/2001 11:21:33 AM #
Don't forget their other "novel" ideas they never bothered patenting...

like the Laser Printer, Ethernet, Word Processing, etc.

Think they're trying to make up for lost time and lost revenue?

Maybe if XEROX stopped giving away its secrets....

I.M. Anonymous @ 12/20/2001 8:04:11 PM #
XEROX could conceivably be one of the most powerful companies today if its management had any
clue. They just keep giving away technology instead of marketing it themselves. It seems as if PARC
is a shopping mall for startups. Apple got all the good ideas for the Macintosh there in the 80's and
I guess Graffiti leaked out at some point too. You have to feel sorry for all the XEROX engineers over
the years who have seen there creations 'given' away to other companies. Poor management.

RE: Maybe if XEROX stopped giving away its secrets....
MadMax @ 12/20/2001 10:40:32 PM #
It's true. The Computer mouse was invented @ the XEROX Palo Alto Research Center, aka:
Xerox PARC

RE: Maybe if XEROX stopped giving away its secrets....
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/21/2001 8:16:55 AM #
And Apple paid them for the technology. They didn't pay them a whole lot but they paid everything Xerox asked for.

Graffiti vs. Mac interface

kevdo @ 12/20/2001 8:08:26 PM #
How is it that Xerox loses the lawsuit over the Mac interface but they win this one?

RE: Graffiti vs. Mac interface
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/20/2001 9:22:43 PM #
I've been wondering exactly the same thing. If there's a difference, I sure can't figure out what it is.

RE: Graffiti vs. Mac interface
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/20/2001 11:06:36 PM #

Maybe it's like when an NFL ref calls a really bad penalty, so he feels obligated to call one the other way as not to get beer bottles hurled at him.


RE: Graffiti vs. Mac interface
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/21/2001 1:51:14 AM #
did they even sue ??

RE: Graffiti vs. Mac interface
LarryGarfield @ 12/21/2001 4:03:10 AM #
There's a big difference. In the 1980s, patent law still had a clue. Today, the law is interpreted to read "if you invent something that does X, you have a patent on ANYTHING that does X." So of course they won. Under current standards, ALL handwriting recognition systems are now patented by Xerox, provided they can find a judge stupid enough. There is a legally issued patent out right now for what amounts to a sharp stick. Yes, that's right, a sharp stick. So all of you with pencils and toothpicks, you are in violation.

What I want to know is if this was thrown out before, why the hell did it come up again? What ever happened to double jeopardy?

--
This post is ROT26 encrypted. Reading it is a violation of the DMCA

RE: Graffiti vs. Windows interface
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/21/2001 8:13:48 AM #
> How is it that Xerox loses the lawsuit over the Mac interface but they win this one?

Xerox never sued Apple over the Mac interface because Apple PAID Xerox for the technology. They didn't pay a lot because Xerox didn't think it was very valuable at the time but Apple did pay for it. What you are thinking of is Apple turned around and sued Microsoft for stealing the Windows interface from them. Microsoft eventually settled this lawsuit for $150 million.

RE: Graffiti vs. Mac interface
kevdo @ 12/21/2001 11:09:30 AM #
No, Xerox did sue Apple. It was along the lines of "well we sold you a license for A but you copied our B, C, and D as well". They filed really late, maybe around the late 80's. They lost.

RE: Graffiti vs. Mac interface
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/23/2001 1:15:46 AM #
Apple paid Xerox for it. Apple also hired away most of the top talent working on it. In addition, most of the wonderful gui elements like overlapping windows and icons were invented at apple (not to mention the groundbreaking HCI guide that started the whole 'ease of use' battle between windows and mac-- remember the old days before there was consistency between programs? control-c might be "cut "in one program and "change to italics" in another. You have apple to thank for one thing-- consistency! Of course apple's hci guide was nearly copied word for word a year later in the "windows gui guidelines" from MS..) The interface first devd at Xerox was VERY primitive-- in fact it looked very nearly like windows 3.0. Then there's the whole windows 95 interface and "recycle bin" thing that ms blatanly stole from NeXT (which later was bought by apple..)

TREO keyboard is looking pretty smart now...

I.M. Anonymous @ 12/20/2001 8:11:32 PM #
I guess there's more than one reason to move to keyboard input!

RE: TREO keyboard is looking pretty smart now...
Coyote67 @ 12/20/2001 8:47:16 PM #
Until RIM sues Handspring for making a Blackberry clone or something. This country is such bs.

---------------------------------------
When you have a Clie shoved up your mouth, you can only talk in vowels.
RE: TREO keyboard is looking pretty smart now...
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/20/2001 11:08:35 PM #

Well, Jeff probably was the only one that knew he really did rip off Xerox.


copying

I.M. Anonymous @ 12/20/2001 9:14:28 PM #
Palm shouldn't have COPIED unistrokes from Xerox... hehe... get it... xerox...copied... haha

RE: copying
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/20/2001 9:50:04 PM #
Yeah, and people like you seem to spend too much time using unistrokes on your Palm... hehe... get it... strokes... palm... haha

RE: copying
Beavis @ 12/21/2001 3:25:22 PM #
huh huh huhhuhhuhhhhhh, yoy said ...strokes. hahahahaahhh

RE: copying
mentalsrule @ 4/16/2002 12:32:04 AM #
I dont see how in the hell they copy the "uniStrokes"... you start at a different point and you totally draw something else. the A's dont even match, and definatly the K's either. people are just out to get more money and its stupid. they should just make their billioins selling crap away. Xerox should get a life and not try to ruin something that isnt even a threat to them.

---------------------
Wait! You are just jumping to conclusions... There has got to be an irrational and illogical explanation for all this.
www.pratorian.net
Bringing Freedom Back to the Internet
www.handecomputing.com
Now thats Hande!

Xerox

I.M. Anonymous @ 12/20/2001 10:03:34 PM #
Xerox should shut up and develop a print/copier for Palm OS.

Stupid

I.M. Anonymous @ 12/20/2001 11:04:26 PM #
This law suit is terrible. I have looked at them and the two simply arent the same. Either way it would be nice for palm to just devolope something easier to use for everyone that allows you to just write on the screen.

I know there is 3rd party software that does it. Why dont they just take out that nice 3 inch piece of crap at the bottom?

Anyway Palm will appeal the law suit and it will be in court for another year or so.

But Id like to make one more comment. A lot of you have been trashing Palm and certainly some it is well deserved. But I honestly think the company has turned the corner and things will improve drastically this year.

OS 5 will have a lot to do with that, but i like where they are headed. And I am sorry but with companies like Handspring and Sony in Palms corner PPC will have its work cut out for them and I dont think they will over take palm.

What about Jot?

jsulmeyer @ 12/20/2001 11:21:35 PM #
I've been using CIC's Jot, which is much more intuitive than Graffiti, on my Palm Vx. Perhaps Palm could license Jot from CIC - I'm sure they'd rather pay a relatively small licening fee to CIC than a monster extortion fee to Xerox to keep using Graffiti. Of course, Xerox would probably then sue CIC...

RE: What about Jot?
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/21/2001 12:20:37 AM #
And CIC will keep there price low? Doubt it. If Xerox wants $30M from Palm, Jot will jack it's price for a license to $29.9M. Such is life.

RE: What about Jot?
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/29/2001 11:38:26 AM #
Licensing a technology has relatively nothing to do with this. Its all the previous units that were sold that could cost Palm the most. Simply changing to new keystrokes wouldn't help.

Anyway, based on this suit, who's to stop Xerox from turning around and suing THAT company? It seems as if any uni-stroke based text-recognition system could infringe upon Xerox's broad patent.



From Xerox Corp. v. 3Com Corp. 267 F.3d 1361

I.M. Anonymous @ 12/20/2001 11:20:40 PM #
The following is a directly from Xerox Corp. v. 3Com Corp. 267 F.3d 1361.

Background

Xerox is the owner of the '656 patent, invented by David Goldberg, a Xerox employee. The '656 patent claims a system of single stroke symbols, called "unistrokes," for computer recognition of handwritten text that results in fewer errors than the prior art systems because the *1364 computer can easily interpret the symbols immediately upon pen lift.
Xerox brought suit against 3Com claiming that its "PalmPilot" line of hand- held computers used the unistrokes technology in its "Graffiti" software. 3Com asserted affirmative defenses of invalidity, unenforceability, and non- infringement. After the court found the '656 patent not invalid for prior public use on summary judgment, 3Com filed a request for reexamination of the '656 patent with the United States Patent and Trademark Office ("PTO"). The PTO ultimately confirmed all sixteen claims of the '656 patent . The district court granted 3Com summary judgment of non-infringement while dismissing Xerox's motion for summary judgment of infringement because Graffiti does not employ "spatial independence," its symbols are not sufficiently "graphically separated" from each other to be "unistroke symbols," and it does not allow for "definitive recognition" of symbols immediately upon pen lift by the user. This appeal followed.

To read more, try this link,

http://makeashorterlink.com/?O17322F3

RE: From Xerox Corp. v. 3Com Corp. 267 F.3d 1361
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/21/2001 5:59:45 AM #
Hey, the X character in graffiti is not a uni stroke.. it is two seperate strokes ...

RE: From Xerox Corp. v. 3Com Corp. 267 F.3d 1361
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/21/2001 9:40:30 AM #
It is interesting what the "concurring judge" has to say. He says that in order for Xerox's patent to stand, EVERY character must be shown to be a "unistroke" character. For some reason he separates X from this list (dunno why).

But (1) there are Grafitti strokes that are not characters (capitalize, capslock, backspace), (2) some symbols are two "strokes" (all dotted or slashed symbols), (3) some Grafitti strokes are two-stroke commands (copy, paste, cut), and (4) there is more than one way to write many characters (X, Y, etc).

Also the main judge says that all characters must be graphically and directionally different from each other, and uses O and Q and B and R as examples. He should have included G and Q in that list. I don't know how many times my Palm fails to recognize these characters because they are graphically similar and directionally identical.

Also, note that in the judgement, part of Xerox's claims are upheld and part are not (don't know which is which from reading it).

This judge is wrong.

RE: From Xerox Corp. v. 3Com Corp. 267 F.3d 1361
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/21/2001 10:44:24 AM #
After reading this post from the suit, I think what Xerox is claiming is not that the characters themselves are similar, but that the technology (which they claim to own) has been infringed upon. You could split some very fine legal hairs there, but I understand the whole issue a lot more after reading this bit. Thanks for posting it man. Aloha

RE: From Xerox Corp. v. 3Com Corp. 267 F.3d 1361
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/21/2001 2:11:44 PM #
Any of you read Gregory Aharonian's site on how screwed up the patent Office is?
http://www.bustpatents.com/

He says, "One of the reason so many bad software patents issue, is that patent examiners do not have enough time and library resources to do their jobs."

He gives a list of other reaaly bad patents, too.

Counter case against Hawkins?

I.M. Anonymous @ 12/21/2001 12:43:09 AM #
Maybe Palm can turn around and sue Jeff?

Hey Jeff, this was your idea - you left us holding the baby! Child support payment please?

:-)


RE: Counter case against Hawkins?
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/21/2001 10:53:36 AM #
that would be pretty funny! :D
PDANature - reviews, commentarys, hourly refreshed pda news, and whatnot! Check it out @ http://pdan.has.it


Email campeign

I.M. Anonymous @ 12/21/2001 12:49:50 AM #
All of those in favor of starting an email campeign to Xerox letting them know that we think there are next to no similarities between unistroke and graffiti, please respond. We need to all pick an email address to mail to. We also need to mention that we are all taking on the personal mission to make sure that at least 20 people we know choose another printer/copier over Xerox.

skoty

O..... ok ......
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/21/2001 1:52:46 AM #
so ........

RE: Email campeign
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/21/2001 10:51:08 AM #
Read my comment to the above post. (The statement from Xerox about the suit) I don't think it's the similarities in strokes that is at issue... Aloha, man.

I think Palm will be another 3dfx

I.M. Anonymous @ 12/21/2001 3:17:27 AM #
Let SONY to buy all Palm technologies after the liquidation.

RE: I think Palm will be another 3dfx
popko @ 12/21/2001 11:35:43 AM #
Sounds funny.

Did you know what happened when 3dfx was sold to nVidia? All current and upcoming 3dfx technologies were kill right after the buy-out. nVidia got all of 3dfx's technology assests and they decided not to use it. Also, since they paid for the technology only, you can not hold them responable for driver support. Did you know that during WinXP's beta, nVidia actually with hold 3dfx's driver source code from Microsoft? That's why WinXP don't have build in drivers for the Voodoos.

Another good example would the Creative Labs's buy out of Aureal, the maker of the popular Vortex line of chips. Did Creative use A3D in their newest Sound Blaster card? No!

So all was trying to say is tha competitive buy-out may not be a good thing.

RE: I think Palm will be another 3dfx
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/21/2002 3:58:10 AM #
Geforce is way better than anything 3dfx made

Something that hasn't been addressed

I.M. Anonymous @ 12/21/2001 6:41:27 AM #
Of what use is Grafitti to Xerox? They are not in the PDA market at all. Someone just has their panties in a wad. Unistrokes looks nothing like Grafitti.

buy the patent?

I.M. Anonymous @ 12/21/2001 9:02:05 AM #
If the appeal fails and Palm is still shown to infringe on the patent (weird as that sounds to me), could the settlement be for Palm to buy the patent from Xerox, hopefully for some non-extortionist price?

RE: buy the patent?
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/21/2001 9:25:40 AM #
From Xerox: "Either Palm will have to cease production of its hand-held organizer or license the technology from Xerox," said Christina Clayton, Xerox general counsel.

Palm cannot buy the patent b/c Xerox will not, and cannot be made to, sell it. It is analogous to a trespasser on your property being allowed to buy your property. Xerox has offered Palm a license (i.e., promise to refrain from further legal action) for the patent. As for the price, it will certainly be higher now than before the patent was litigated.

Graffiti on Zoomer PDAs

jbarr @ 12/21/2001 9:28:05 AM #
I had two of those old Casio Zoomer PDAz (Tandy Z-PDA) and though it came with its own HWR, Graffiti was an add-on. I recall this was smowhere around 1995 or so.


That last statement from Xerox

I.M. Anonymous @ 12/21/2001 9:50:01 AM #
That last statement by Xerox--that Palm will have to either cease production of its organizer or license Graffiti--this is a knee slapper.

I wonder if that Xerox exec realizes just how naive he sounds. If I were a CEO and one of my top execs made a similar public statement, I would fire him immediately. This man is truly not living in reality. It seems as though he doesn't even realize that the market has moved beyond organizers, and that the future of handheld and wireless computing is, just perhaps, embodied in Palm.

Palm has an abundance of options. They could very very easily ditch Graffiti altogether. The easiest fix would be putting a standard qwerty keyboard in its place. The best solution would be to license the Fitaly keyboard. Either would be good enough in the short term. The way thumboards are catching, one wonders if Palm shouldn't have abandoned Graffiti years ago.

Even if Palm loses its appeal in whole (which I doubt very seriously--appellate judges are far more sophisticated and distinguishing than their trial court counterparts) the damages will not really hit Palm all that hard. There is far more to a Palm than Graffiti, and Graffiti (or _any_ input method) simply isn't worth that much money.

And if Xerox hopes for a sweetheart deal on buying Palm--there are far better prospects for purchasers.

The only worry I would have is the money required to keep defending. I think Palm can swing it with relative ease.

RE: That last statement from Xerox
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/21/2001 10:10:48 AM #
Excuse me--I should have said "how naive _she_ sounds".

No business sense whatsoever.

RE: That last statement from Xerox
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/21/2001 10:54:21 AM #
And it wasn't a top exec, but general council...

RE: That last statement from Xerox
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/21/2001 11:25:42 AM #
>>Even if Palm loses its appeal<<

Palm has already lost its appeal. The Sonys are much nicer ;).

(yes, just kidding)

RE: That last statement from Xerox
popko @ 12/21/2001 11:49:20 AM #
"Palm has an abundance of options. They could very very easily ditch Graffiti altogether. The easiest fix would be putting a standard qwerty keyboard in its place. The best solution would be to license the Fitaly keyboard. Either would be good enough in the short term. The way thumboards are catching, one wonders if Palm shouldn't have abandoned Graffiti years ago."

There is no best thing for all. I for one don't like the idea of Graffiti since there is no extra keyboard to drag alone with me and it made small handheld possible.

RE: That last statement from Xerox
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/21/2001 3:56:13 PM #
There are many ways to keep the handhelds small without Graffiti. Or by licensing it from Xerox if necessary. I really don't think the damages would amount to that much.

Palm could instead license Jot for use in the "Graffiti" area. Xerox doesn't have a claim for recognizing regular handwriting--only for the use of special strokes. Which is why they haven't gone after Microsoft.

But Palm should win the appeal anyway.

guideline

nategall @ 12/21/2001 10:09:43 AM #
Hi, seeing how every news post leads to a flurry of responses and responses to responses, I would like to suggest an abbreviated posting guideline.

Pssb "Palm sucks Sony is better."
Pspb "Palm sucks PocketPC is better"
sww "Sony will win"
hww "Handspring will win"
pww "Palm will win"
mww "Microsoft will win"
pfmwclmgb "Palm is Filled with Morons and Will Continue to Lose Money and Go Broke"
pps "PocketPC sucks"
pos "Palm OS sucks"
ps "Palm sucks"
ss "Sony sucks"
hs "Handspring sucks"
pgb "Palm is Going Broke"
hb "Handspring is Better"
sb "Sony is Better"
pb "Palm is Better"
ppb "PocketPC is Better"
hpsto "Hope Palm Survives This One"
pssots "Palm Should Sell Out To Sony"
pssoth "Palm Should Sell Out To Handspring"
pssotm "Palm Should Sell Out To Microsoft"
itt "Ignore The Troll"

I am pretty sure that these abbreviations should cover 90% of all posts. If you are a more creative person, feel free to come up with acronyms that spell out stuff. I have to get back to work.

nategall says "blah!"

RE: guideline
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/21/2001 11:44:31 AM #
>nategall says "blah!"

like the taliban - do not accept reality neither people - its ok for you poor chap to go back to work and pray to your god.
Given - it wont help you nor the sober Palm followers like me - but better not to have your "endsieg ist unser" under all conditions statements

RE: guideline
popko @ 12/21/2001 11:53:04 AM #
I'll take "itt 'Ignore The Troll' " into consideration.

RE: guideline
TROLL @ 12/21/2001 1:55:15 PM #
I found the above post offensive.

;-)

****************************************
The trolls always have the last laugh...

RE: guideline
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/26/2001 7:31:30 AM #
How about ITPP - ignore the previous post. or..

YASMFWTMTOYH - Your A Stupid Mother F***** With Too Much Time On Your Hands.

;-)

RE: guideline
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/21/2002 4:04:29 AM #
you forgot comments about apple, xerox, and symbian/psion

not again!!

I.M. Anonymous @ 12/21/2001 10:51:22 AM #
Guess the only smart thing to do was make an appeal anyway. Will palm ever get their bad luck off the media?! :D
PDANature - reviews, commentarys, hourly refreshed pda news, and whatnot! Check it out @ http://pdan.has.it

The Judge is a blind man....

I.M. Anonymous @ 12/21/2001 11:55:25 AM #
anyone could tell that Unistroke is extremely different from graffiti.

But there WILL BE people making money by shorting palm shares.....

It's all about technology

TechSport @ 12/21/2001 1:01:39 PM #
There's a post burried in here somewhere that has a portion of the text from the suit as it was brought by Xerox. In there it states very clearly:

"Xerox brought suit against 3Com claiming that its "PalmPilot" line of hand- held computers used the unistrokes technology in its "Graffiti" software. 3Com asserted affirmative defenses of invalidity, "

Xerox never said the strokes look too similar. I don't think there could be much dispute about that.

Don't get me wrong, I'm no Xerox loving Palm basher, I've used Palms for years and love them all, even the Sony's and the Handsprings, but in all honesty (considering most of what I know about the case came from this and other web sites) Xerox may have a point.

I hope Palm can get over this hurdle.

Totally disagree
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/21/2001 3:44:17 PM #
If they can say that recognizing the trial of a pointing device is their technology, then all the arcade style shot-them-ups, all graphics tablets and etc. It is simply rediculous...No matter how you look at the verdict.

RE: It's all about technology
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/21/2001 5:55:40 PM #
No, the issue specifically involves:
* unistrokes
* handwriting recognition
* analysis of the stroke when the stylus is lifted

Arcade games, graphic tablets, etc. are unrelated.

What the rats do when the ship sinks . . .

I.M. Anonymous @ 12/21/2001 1:19:03 PM #
RE: What the rats do when the ship sinks . . .
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/21/2001 2:07:07 PM #
Yankowski wasn't a rat deserting a sinking ship, he was the Captain kicked overboard for being an idiot studying to be a moron (and not studying very hard). Palm has replaced 70% of its top managers, dumping the old incompetents who were content to rest on their laurels. The ship isn't going to sink at all, it will be profitable within 2 quarters.

RE: What the rats do when the ship sinks . . .
TROLL @ 12/21/2001 2:15:43 PM #
The people who keep blaming Carl Yankowski for everything that has happened to Palm in the past year don't have a clue how Palm got to the position they're now in. I'd suggest they read a little before posting more flames attacking Yankowski. Yes, he made some bad decisions, but the wheels were set in motion for Palm's fall long before he arrived on the scene. Yankowski was just in the wrong place at the wrong time and has become a convenient fall guy.


- Trolly


****************************************
The trolls always have the last laugh...

RE: What the rats do when the ship sinks . . .
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/21/2001 3:56:03 PM #
Ok, what do you suspect happened before Carl Yankowski?

RE: What the rats do when the ship sinks . . .
TROLL @ 12/21/2001 6:04:28 PM #
What Palm did before Yankowski:

1) Licensed OS to Handspring and Sony. Sony now makes better PDA hardware and Handspring will be making better PDA/phone hardware than Palm, siphoning off a significant amount of Palm's potential sales. Palm gave up tens of millions in quarterly hardware sales for 4 or 5 million in quarterly PalmOS sales. You do the math.

2) Failed to innovate, instead repackaging the same old hardware year after year, thinking consumers wouldn't demand more.

3) Gouged PDA buyers when there weren't other options. Ever wonder how much their profit was on those $400 Palm V thaT sold so well? You wouldn't believe it if I told you.

4) Got big, fat and lazy, with dozens of "managers" that serve no beneficial function for the company.

- There's more, but I hope you get the idea. Palm's probems stem from corporate decisions and policies that have been in place for three or four years - well before Carl Yankowski's disastrous term at the helm.
Palm's 1997 - 2000 directors are more responsible than Yankowski is for the company's presently being on life support.

But in any event, what's the point bashing him or Palm? Leave the negative comments to professional TROLLS, like me.

- Trolly

****************************************
The trolls always have the last laugh...

RE: What the rats do when the ship sinks . . .
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/25/2001 11:17:39 PM #
... went after enthusiast websites whose domain names have Palm on it.

I just feel that I complete the list. Personally, I believe this is free endorsement on behalf of Palm and will help Palm in the competition.

RE: What the rats do when the ship sinks . . .
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/26/2001 3:25:24 AM #
Well, Mr TROLL's 4 points make some sense, but consider this:

a) The licensing strategy was put in place at a time when Palm just couldn't meet demand on it's own. All the projections at the time were that the market would continue to grow exponentially. Palm didn't have the financial resources to expand sufficiently. Nor did it want too - if the sales projections proved wrong then the increased financial commitment would have lead to a catastophe. On the other hand, Palm thought that they were sitting on a goldmine and they had to do something to capture more of the 'upside'. There were also 'strategic' issues relating to Jeff's departure.

So Palm compromised. They licensed the Palm OS to all comers. At the time they didn't think that they would do themselves out of too many sales because they just couldn't meet the demand as it was. Players like Handspring and Sony were going to get into the market anyway, so Palm saw the licensing arrangements as a way of keeping a greater degree of control over the market, an indirect way of sharing the development costs and getting some revenue out of the demand which Palm itself could not meet. This whole strategy was based on the notion that the PDA market would continue to boom, so the new entrants would not cannibalise Palm's sales.

It didn't turn out that way. After a while, the growth in the market was not what everyone thought it was going to be. Handspring and Sony had already invested a great deal and they couldn't just walk away. They went after sales by price cutting and, to a lesser extent, 'innovation' (see below). The result was that Palm's licensing stragety now looks stupid.

The reality is that it was merely a result of over-optimistic projections and wishfull thinking about how robust the PDA market really was. That was the real error - nobody can predict the future. The licensing strategy made sense at the time, although it was based on a flawed assumption about future growth.

Another way of looking at the licensing strategy is to think about what might have happened otherwise - Palm could have borrowed heavily so as to expand production and, if it had done so, it would now be on the verge of bankruptcy. Yes, the licensing strategy now looks like a failure, but it might have saved Palm from making a bigger mistake.

b) One of the common complaints is that Palm failed to 'innovate'. This is repeated so often, that most readers probably accept it without question. Let's put this into perspective.

Arguably, the only true 'innovation' over the last few years was: the Springboard expansion module. This is a great idea - it takes the humble PDA to a higher plain. The Springboard was not as successful as it could have been, but the idea is a winner. Palm accepted this (eventually) and came up with what is arguably the best option for expansion. (Sony's approach is pretty good too.) So, yes, Palm was slow to innovate, but when they saw the possibilities, they acted and they came up with a good approach. Could they have done so sooner? Certainly. On the other hand, they were doing pretty well at the time, their R&D budget was pretty well committed to OS development, communication, etc (not to mention the ridiculous plan to build a new HQ and other wastage), so they didn't push things as hard as they should have. That was a mistake - you can't sit still in the computer game. But when they realised what was happening, they caught up.

The moral is that they did in fact 'innovate', it's just that they could have reacted quicker.

What are the other 'innovations'? Handspring, for a while, had a chip that ran faster. But this was not critical because the Palm OS and the standard apps were so well written that they actually run pretty well at 20Mhz.

What about MP3? Big deal.

What about colour screens/hi-res? In my book, these are not really 'innovations'; they are incremental improvements and they are necessarily important to most users. (Did color screens save WinCE2?) And they were largely driven by marketing considerations rather than a genuine innovation path. Look at it this way: Sony wanted to enter the market - Palm already had (at the time) the lion's share. Sony needed to differentiate itself from Palm and it used the old consumer products idea of adding so-called 'features', many of which would not add any real functionality for most users. (Who really uses all the functions on their VCR?) At best the accumulation of such 'features' was merely an exercise in making incremental improvements; it doesn't rank as 'innovation' of the same scale as expansion.

Of course, Palm's problem was that its main investment in 'innovation' has lead (so far) to blind alleys. In particular, the VII/VIIx was not as successful as it should have been (probably due to subscription pricing issues). Hopefully Handsping's Treo will succeed (and, if it does, it will in a way justify all the effort which Palm has put into the communications area).

Mr TROLL's points 3) and 4) are valid. That Palm's management became bloated and complacent is understandable (but not excusable). As to pricing, in a way, the high prices were a reflection of supply and demand - why would anyone sell anything for say $40 if they could sell it for $400. In any event, Palm should have bitten the bullet sooner and discounted its vast Vx stocks much more aggressively, about 6 months prior to the launch of the m500.

RE: What the rats do when the ship sinks . . .
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/21/2002 4:10:51 AM #
from above

"programs were so well written that they didnt need 20Mhz"

Its not that they were well written, it is that the PalmOS at its heart, is still a e-day timer, and cannot support higher processes, except for a few programs that strech it like, wordsmith, and some games. Programs arent "well written" its just that they arnt complex and powerful (execpt a couple), but simple, and plain

Sony will buy Palm

I.M. Anonymous @ 12/21/2001 2:43:25 PM #
It's just a matter of time before Sony buys Palm, Inc.


RE: Sony will buy Palm
TROLL @ 12/21/2001 6:24:57 PM #
Who told you?


- Trolly


****************************************
The trolls always have the last laugh...

This doesn't look good...

I.M. Anonymous @ 12/21/2001 4:57:31 PM #
It will be interesting to see what happens to Palm this year. It sad not see much development from them this year besides the m500 series. They didn't do any price cutting to sell off the Palm IIIc devices, which I was waiting for. They still cost $450 CDN. I think the B&W models aren't selling well as they used too. There seemed more choices before the redesign of the family platform. I would have gotten a IIIc if the price was $299 instead I got a Visor Platinum for the 8mb memory and springboard. But I would like color next time when prices come down. A new Sony is $799CDN which is PocketPC territory now. The ipaq's go for that much now. I would like to stay with the Palm platform since I use a mac, but now with PocketMac out, I can change platforms if need be. I'll wait and see.

RE: This doesn't look good...
TROLL @ 12/21/2001 6:27:08 PM #
Cheap Palm IIIc were being sold in the USA in the past six months. Take a look around the net and you'll probably still find a good deal. Or join Palm's developer program and get a Palm for around $40% off...

****************************************
The trolls always have the last laugh...

I bet Yankowski is laughing his ass off on this one.

I.M. Anonymous @ 12/21/2001 6:00:11 PM #
I bet he's sure glad he collected his golden parachute pay before Palm goes bankrupt!!! I don't feel sorry for him at all, he's at home at his mansion collecting millions without having to deal with any more Palm-related headaches and B.S..

RE: I bet Yankowski is laughing his ass off on this one.
TROLL @ 12/21/2001 7:09:29 PM #
Contrary to popular belief, Carl Yankowski has no secret desire to see Palm go bankrupt.

It's time you people got over the Yankowski obsession. You'd almost think the guy was a serial killer based on the comments here.

Please drop the anti-Carl B.S. It's really getting old now.

****************************************
The trolls always have the last laugh...

RE: I bet Yankowski is laughing his ass off on this one.
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/21/2001 8:52:17 PM #
Who's Anti-Carl?? Where in the above comments do you see Anti-Carl?? I say God bless the guy for cashing in millions and now enjoying himself fly-fishing in Maine! I wish I could do that!!!

So, dude, read the words posted and don't put words in the posters mouth that aren't there.

p.s. I see by all of your know-it-all posts, you have WAY too much time on your hands. Try getting out of the house and away from the computer, ******.

famous lawsuits

I.M. Anonymous @ 12/22/2001 9:26:48 PM #
Around 1995 here comes Compton's World Book Encyclopaedia saying they have a patent on the idea of bundling multimedia content on a CDROM, and that if anyone puts text, sound, pictures, movies on a CD must pay them royalties. Anyone know how that was ever settled?

Compuserve invented .gif, but wait-a-sec when it found the format being adopted on web pages it said it needed licensing fees from programs that save .gif's. So everyone started using .jpg's.

How is it that Xerox and Palo Alto Research Center had/have so many good ideas, but they don't capitalize on them? Technology squatting should be illegal.

Didn't the original inventor of the TV get shafted by the networks?

Even though Palm lost the lawsuit to Pilot Pens the name stuck and people who know nothing of the devices still call them "Palm Pilots".

How about the famous lawsuit of Apple demanding licensing fees from Microsoft for copying it's gui idea in Windows? What did they get? $100 million plus the assurance that Bill will continue to make Office Suite software for the MAC.

RE: famous lawsuits
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/24/2001 2:27:43 AM #
How is it that Xerox and Palo Alto Research Center had/have so many good ideas, but they don't capitalize on them? Technology squatting should be illegal.

Accusing Xerox of "technology squatting" is completely unjustified. I happen to think that this patent is not particularly good, and I happen to think that software patents in general are a bad idea, but given that they are the law of the land, Xerox has, if anything, been more liberal than other companies in permitting use of its patented inventions.

The idea that Xerox PARC hasn't capitalized on its inventions is a myth. Xerox has managed to get lots of great inventions out into the marketplace and probably done better in this regard than other technology companies.

RE: famous lawsuits
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/21/2002 4:16:56 AM #
PARC made so much good stuff that XeroX got overloaded

Who likes Grafitti

I.M. Anonymous @ 12/23/2001 7:13:19 PM #
ok, i have a big problem here. who the hell wants to use Grafitti? It is all uppercase, and i know no one who writes in all uppercase. i mean, it is much more pleasurable and easier writing in your own handwriting, and being able to write over the whole screen. Palm dug themselves a s***hole, and now they are unplugging there noses... so, any estimated bankruptcy time? i say end of next year. na, probably earlier.

RE: Who likes Grafitti
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/24/2001 2:37:24 AM #
you've just described the Newton which later its dev team stolen by microsoft thus creating MS transcriber for Pocket PC.

full screen
write in cursive or block, whatever
it recognizes the crappiest writing pretty well
makes graffiti look like dog poo

If only palm would buy the newton handwriting technology from apple they'd be set. apple doesn't seem to need it, they killed the newton a while back

RE: Who likes Grafitti
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/24/2001 2:58:31 AM #
Your wrote:
<later its dev team stolen by microsoft thus creating MS transcriber for Pocket PC. ..>

This is not true.
I do not embrace M$ at warmest but I'm against any unjustified accusations. Microsoft lisenced the basis for Transcriber legally through a complicated and oficially hidden deal.

Boris Michael v. Luhovoy
publishing editor
Palmtop-pro magazine
The Magazine for dedicated Palm user
www.palmtop.at

RE: Who likes Grafitti
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/1/2002 9:39:13 PM #
you dummies Newton used cic Jot.

Give me a break

PIC mobile user @ 3/19/2002 7:28:23 AM #
Awww ...is Xerox in trouble with money again? So now they have to go after Palm? Listen up Xerox ...I would worry more about giving away all your other ideas ....the mouse ....hell the PC itself ..your company is truly stupid ...and by the way ...nobody wants or needs your copiers anymore and your salesforce stinks...
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