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Palm ordered to post bond in Xerox patent dispute

Palm ordered to post bond in Xerox patent dispute

A federal judge has denied Xerox's request to stop sales of Palm handheld computers, but has ordered Palm and its former parent, 3Com, to post a $US50 million bond as insurance in a long-standing patent dispute.

Last December, US District Court Judge Michael Telesca ruled that Palm and 3Com had infringed a Xerox patent on computerised handwriting recognition. Palm and 3Com appealed, and Xerox later asked for an injunction barring Palm from selling its product during the appeal period.

The injunction request was denied because Xerox would not be irreparably harmed if sales continue, Xerox said in a statement issued on Monday. Palm and 3Com were ordered to post bond as insurance should Xerox prevail on appeal, Xerox said.

Palm, in a separate statement issued on Monday, repeated that it intends to vigorously pursue its appeal. The company maintains that its Graffiti handwriting recognition software, which is part of the Palm OS for handheld computers, does not infringe the Xerox patent.

Xerox claims Graffiti is the same as the Unistrokes technology it developed in its Palo Alto Research Center, known as PARC. In 1997, it sued U.S. Robotics, which was acquired by 3Com, which subsequently spun off its Palm division as Palm Inc.

If Palm and 3Com's appeal is rejected, the next step for the court is to determine the amount of damages, Xerox said.


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