Comments on: Court Rules E-Pass Handheld Patent Suit Can Resume

The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has reversed the judgment of non-infringement that had been previously entered in the E-Pass v. Palm and 3Com patent litigation. The suit claims that Palm Inc, and subsequently other handheld manufacturers infringe on a E-pass patent.
Return to Story - Permalink

Article 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.

Comments Closed Comments Closed
This article is no longer accepting new comments.


Going after what

Gar @ 8/22/2003 1:03:58 PM #
OK, so I understand they had a patent on a wide wide vision of a handheld something... but what they really going after? Being the only ones to be able to make handheld computing devices?
M$ offered them 10 million, that wasn't enough. Maybe 50 bucks per handheld made by everyone forever? Talk about a technology limiting patent.
Sure, I'm being sarcastic - a bit over the top. The question is, is it E-Pass's fault for being this way or the system for allowing patents on such a wide subject?
RE: Going after what
Ezra4no1 @ 8/22/2003 1:17:16 PM #
You have to be angry at the system. It reminds me of the time when a fews backa compny patient the idea or method of "downloading MP3s" and awarded it. This company than sent out thousands of letters threaten to sue everone asnd wanted royalties.

Notonly is the U.S. system decided upon old nontechinical people that have right be alove the U.S. Justice is also a money making business. Only in this country can innovation be smothered and shut out because another company claimed right to an idea that was never invented, researched, developed, nor even remotely close to what innovation might of been.

RE: Going after what
MKD @ 8/22/2003 2:17:36 PM #
sheesh! They are probably going broke because they lack the imagination required to make awesome PDA's and such. They need to get inspired by the "green." So lets sue cause were are jealous.

If you don't expect anything...
you won't be disappointed


RE: Going after what
ganoe @ 8/22/2003 6:44:20 PM #
> Only in this country can innovation be smothered and shut out because
> another company claimed right to an idea that was never invented, researched,
> developed, nor even remotely close to what innovation might of been.

That about covers it. I've got all kinds of great software ideas and would love to start my own company to develop them. There is not way in heck I would do it. The minute anything I developed became popular a gazillion people and companies would come out of the woodwork to sue me over whatever software patents they thought were remotely close to anything I did.

Whatever happened to the days when you had to build a physical model of what you were patenting to get a patent on it? That would eliminate software patents and patents for ideas that a company never builds.

RE: Going after what
LiveFaith @ 8/24/2003 1:17:14 AM #
This reminds me of the European guy who tried to file suit on the invention of the hyperlink. Let's see now, $0.000234 for every click and in 3 months he will own the solar system and a majority share of our galaxy! Sounds like Holiday Inn should do a commercial on this.

Pat Horne;
RE: Going after what
kawawong @ 8/24/2003 11:07:32 PM #
i don't like to patent system.

with the help of information technology, we can now gather many idea from different of the world. many idea come together to become a great idea, and many many idea now are very similar.

if i have enough money, I will apply the patent of all new devices mention in the sceintific novel. they are many many good idea inside the novel that may not have real product today but will be in the future. I will become rich if I own the patent of all of them.

stupid patent.

RE: Going after what
ganoe @ 8/25/2003 10:33:59 AM #
> i don't like to patent system. [ ... ]
> I will apply the patent of all new devices mention in the sceintific novel.

My understanding of the way patents (at least used to) work is that you can't just patent an idea. You're really only supposed to be able to patent the implementation of an idea, which is why I mentioned about how you used to have to make a physical model of your patent in the past. IMHO, the biggest problems are with software patents and business practice patents. Both areas are well beyond the realm of what patents were originally supposed to contain.

Part of the problem with this patent in my opinion is that it sounds like it's one of those wonderful business practice (and/or software) patents. They're not just patenting the device (which, as most everyone here agrees, could be most any computing device) but the idea that you might use it to conduct transactions for more than one credit card account.

Is there any Palm in its default state that lets you do that anyhow?

Did Edison patent the idea of using the phonograph for playing music over the radio or at a dance club? I might grab those patents up.

When will patent attournies and judges get a clue?

Token User @ 8/22/2003 1:02:53 PM #
How many judges have backgrounds in technology that qualify them to pass these type of judgements? As far as I know, ePass do not have a product - only an idea. No expression of the idea.

Its ironic that they didn't sue Apple for the Newton (prior art), Sharp for the Zaurus (prior art), and a multitude of other electronic devices that incorporated displays that predated their "unique" idea.

Oh well, such is life in a democracy.

~ "Don't be too proud of this technological terror you've constructed." - DV ~

RE: When will patent attournies and judges get a clue?
helf @ 8/22/2003 1:34:24 PM #
the closest thing to their "pda idea" was teh rex.. but its not in production anymore.. the next closest thing would be those el cheapo pda's you buy at walmart and watches withb PIM function.

This is getting so retarded.. You can sue over anything now.

RE: When will patent attournies and judges get a clue?
enjolras @ 8/22/2003 2:11:35 PM #
Don't mistake the ability to sue for the ability to win..

You really CAN sue over anything, but that doesn't mean you'll win (And you'll likely end up paying damages to boot).

RE: When will patent attournies and judges get a clue?
tmcrae @ 8/22/2003 2:57:41 PM #
That's very correct. E-Pass may sue and wind up losing. That's my hope and, if that situation does come to pass, I'd love to see them nailed with damages. Unfortunately, with the legal system the way it is, this will be a very long and drawn out process what with all the appeals etc.

Two points I would like to make:

1. Anyone who knows ANYTHING about PDA's knows that they do much more than store credit card information which, as near as I can tell is the only type of data that the E-Pass "vapourware" was meant to store. In fact, I dare say that one might have been able to buy organizers put out by Casio, Sharp and Radio Shack 15 years ago that you could store the same information on. How can any reasonably intelligent person view them as the same thing (i.e. "equivalent"), especially when one of them hasn't even been devloped yet?

2. Speaking of Sharp, since they and Apple came out with their handhelds (Zaurus and Newton) prior to the E-Pass patent, can they (and, more importantly, will they) file suit against E-Pass on the same grounds? That'd be funny....

RE: When will patent attournies and judges get a clue?
Tere @ 8/22/2003 3:10:14 PM #
>Its ironic that they didn't sue Apple for the Newton
>(prior art), Sharp for the Zaurus (prior art), and a
>multitude of other electronic devices that incorporated
>displays that predated their "unique" idea.

If there is prior art, doesn't that invalidate the patent? I thought patents were valid to the originator of the idea.

Also, I can't think of a single PalmOS device whose form factor could be considered a "card." If a Palm III brick is a card, then is a laptop just a bigger card? And what the heck is a "display box?" Does the LCD on a Palm count as "at least two display boxes?" Definations, man definations!

Not only is ther prior art, but this patent seems to broad.

- Tere

RE: When will patent attournies and judges get a clue?
Ronin @ 8/22/2003 3:38:27 PM #
keep this up and Palm will not be out of business thru competition but litigated out of business.

Every time I look Palm is getting sued for infringement on a patent that is a broad as the day is long. And each patent is for something at the very core of the Palm handheld. It started with the name (Pilot) then graffiti itself and now the handheld as a whole. This suit seems pretty ridiculous to me but on the other hand I thought the others were ridiculous too and at the end of the day no more 'Pilot', no more graffiti.

Maybe, just maybe, Palm has contributed to this by continuing to fold in the face of these types of suits.

In the Spirit of Umoja,

RE: When will patent attournies and judges get a clue?
southbound747 @ 8/24/2003 1:19:33 AM #
don't forget that rim sued palm over the qwerty thumboard too....before rim themselves also got sued. it really all is outrageous.

Maybe This LawSuit is Why...

Tungstenman @ 8/22/2003 11:37:31 PM #
Maybe this lawsuit is why palm is continuing the tungsten|T Series with the slider, because it isn't a card form factor, but I would rather hjave a clamshell disign.

Just a wild Guess with no supporting details. :-)

A Palm in one hand is worth 2 PocketPCs
: )
-Steve B.


digital330 @ 8/23/2003 4:21:58 AM #
Doesn't Palm patent anything? They seem to have a knack of getting sued on everything.

Been to the E-Pass website?

ZekeSulastin @ 8/23/2003 10:13:53 PM #

They seem to be pleased - they are reviewing the patent to see what else they can sue over ...

"With a view towards the vigorous enforcement and protection of its intellectual property rights, E-pass is currently undergoing a thorough evaluation of all products and processes that might be covered by its patent, now that the patent has been vindicated by the Federal Circuit in Washington. It is expected that E-pass will be filing additional patent infringement actions in the not-too distant future."

Read the patent for kicks:

If only someone in the judiciary or defense team would realize that such devices as the Apple Newton did the same things described in the first part of the patent - memory access - before the patent was filed. I think the whole thing is BS (read the patent) but A: I'm no lawyer, B: I'm biased, and C: the BS argument won't work, but prior art will ...

Let's see how they do against Microsoft ... their suit is pending. E-Pass also sued Compaq, now HP.

RE: Been to the E-Pass website?
southbound747 @ 8/24/2003 1:25:00 AM #
well may still be sued for it's ipod. it doesn't only hold mp3 files. it can also hold any type of text file...including credit card numbers. so hopefully if they go after apple...they will bring up the precedent of the newton. in fact i wish apple would just sue these guys to make them go away...

RE: Been to the E-Pass website?
twalk @ 8/24/2003 1:59:53 PM #
IANAL, but I've written a few patent applications. After reading the claims to this one, it's obvious that this is a "shotgun" patent. It's also obvious that the patent was written up by a lawyer who isn't terribly experienced with high tech electronic patents. (The whole description section is pretty light and doesn't really descibe the "invention" in enough detail. Looking at both the claims and description, it looks like they cribbed off of other patents for most of the text.)

I can see where the last judge would feel that the doctrine of equivalents would fit and let the case go on. Looking at claim 1, a PDA can be said to roughly fit under that definition.

If Palm's lawyers have the slightest clue, they should be attacking this on two fronts to try to invalidate it. First by making a formal request to the PTO to review this patent. Second by actually bringing to court devices that predate this patent with similar functionality (and someone who was an "expert" from back then), and then invoke the obviousness clause. (The prior art may not be specific enough to completely invalidate the patent.)

I really do find it hard to believe that it hasn't been invalidated yet. After another look at the claims, pretty much anything with a computer chip could possibly fall under this under the doctrine of equivalents.



Register Register | Login Log in