Lawsuit forced 3Com to drop the ‘Pilot' in Palm Pilot

Lawsuit forced 3Com to drop the ‘Pilot' in Palm Pilot

Ever wondered why the latest version of 3Com's PalmPilot is called the Palm III? Just ask the staff at Pilot Pen.

3Com has quietly reached an out-of-court settlement with US-based Pilot Pen after the pen manufacturer sued 3Com for its use of the word "Pilot" in the name of its personal digital assistant (PDA), the companies confirmed recently.

As part of the settlement, 3Com agreed to refrain from using the word "Pilot" in future releases of the product, said Pilot Pen spokesman, Jim Plunkett.

"Palm agreed to rename the Pilot over time," confirmed Elizabeth Cardinale, a spokeswoman for 3Com's Palm Computing division.

The latest version of the PalmPilot, announced earlier this month, is called Palm III. The two previous versions were the PalmPilot Personal Edition and the PalmPilot Professional Edition.

The settlement does not require 3Com to rename any of its previously released PalmPilot products.

Ironically, 3Com is currently suing Microsoft in Germany and Italy for using the word "Palm" in Microsoft's competing PDA, the Palm PC. 3Com claims the name is too close to that of its own product.

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