PalmSource Settles Patent Infringement Case

PalmSource today announced it has reached an agreement with Digeo Interactive LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Digeo, Inc., to settle a litigation matter alleging infringement of certain Digeo patents.

On December 3, 2003, a suit was filed in the United States District Court of Washington at Seattle naming PalmSource as a defendant along with palmOne, Inc. and PalmGear, Inc. The case is captioned Digeo, Inc. v. Palm, Inc., et al., No. C03-3822. The complaint alleges willful infringement of U.S. Patent No. 5,734,823, or the ‘823 patent, titled “Systems and Apparatus for Electronic Communication and Storage of Information.” The complaint sought preliminary and permanent injunction, unspecified damages and attorneys’ fees.

Under the terms of the settlement, PalmSource entered into an agreement to license Digeo's 5,734,823 and related patents. PalmSource, Digeo Interactive and other companies named in the lawsuit also agreed to dismiss all pending legal claims in all jurisdictions. PalmSource and Digeo further agreed for a period of five years, not to assert their patents in each company's respective business segments.

Specific financial and other terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

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Just shows the flaws in the patent system

skeezix @ 10/15/2004 4:18:33 PM #
.. that was once to protect innovation, and is now used as a weapon to prevent it :/

Getting tough out there with all these organizations that come up with pseudo-obvious or obvious ideas, patent them, then wait around for people to sue. Innovation at its best..


The Shadow knows!

RE: Just shows the flaws in the patent system
mikemusick @ 10/15/2004 6:10:30 PM #
Well, yes and no. It still keeps the Microsofts of the world from completely steamrollering over people like you and me who happen to have a legit good idea. Biggest problem is that the PTO is issuing overly-broad patents on crap.

I looked at the patent, thinking that it somehow sounded familiar - yes, it was. It is a local (St. Louis) company, and I was approached many years ago to participate in the development. It was a seriously flawed concept, which is why I declined. How they stretched it to apply to Palm is totally beyond me - the whole thing was e-book sales through kiosks using proprietary hardware and an experimental storage medium.

I guess they made the kiosk-to-handheld transaction component "stick". It used to be that "obvious" concepts were tossed out on their ear.

Lawyers. :-/

RE: Just shows the flaws in the patent system
tompi @ 10/17/2004 12:11:09 AM #
"Well, yes and no. It still keeps the Microsofts of the world from completely steamrollering over people like you and me who happen to have a legit good idea."

In order to make money off patents with any reliability, you need a big patent portfolio (Diego has around 300) and you need to constantly look for infringement and pursue legal cases over many years. People can afford to do that if they are lawyers themselves or if they have a dedicated legal staff. If you are a small inventor, buying a lottery ticket gives you better odds, doesn't require you to mortgage your house to pay the up-front legal fees, and doesn't require you to dedicate years of your life to legal issues.

(Incidentally, you do realize that Diego is owned by Paul Allen, right?)

Patent law

atrizzah @ 10/19/2004 5:20:49 PM #
Patent law is quickly turning into something that benefits only people who don't actually make products. They don't have to worry about being sued. But when you actually make an innovative product, instead of just think up a spiffy idea, you get sued out the wazzoo. Palm is a prime example of this.

It's a good thing Palm has a corporate pedigree and craploads of money to pay its patent lawyers; any less well off company would have bit the bullet by now.

The tech industry is starting to look a lot like the music business--there's no way to make money as an independant anymore, even if you can make a great product on your own. You have to sell your idea out to someone who can afford to back you.

Peace Out

Translation: Microsoft's Paul Allen is toying with Palm.

The_Voice_of_Reason @ 10/20/2004 1:23:39 AM #

Billy "The Kid" Gates: "Paul, Palm isn't imploding fast enough. Can you waste some more of their money with a bogus patent case?"

Paul "I'm Bored - What Should I Buy Today" Allen: "Sure, Billy. Do you want to see me make Nagel dance, too?"

Billy "The Kid" Gates: "Sure, Paul."

Paul "I'm Bored - What Should I Buy Today" Allen: "Dance for me, Nagel! Dance!"

[Nagel dances frantically, hoping to keep Palm alive long enough for him to cash out his remaining $10 million in stock options by next year]

Billy "The Kid" Gates: "Nagel sure dances funny, Paul. I want him to give me a lap dance."

Paul "I'm Bored - What Should I Buy Today" Allen: "Get off that pole and come here, Nagel!"

[Nagel removes himself from the pole, looking fearfully at Billy]

Sony CLIE UX100: 128 MB real RAM, OLED screen. All the PDA anyone really ever wanted.



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