Appellate Court Asks for Clarification in Xerox-Palm Patent Infringement Case

The U.S. Federal Appellate Court upheld a lower State Court's ruling that Palm Inc.'s "graffiti" handwriting software was an infringement violation of Xerox Corporation's patent. However, the Court remanded the case back to the lower New York State Court to first determine whether Xerox's product under its patent claim is "unique." Xerox sued U.S. Robotics in 1997 for patent infringement, claiming that Xerox had invented the alphabet symbol data screen entry technology some time prior to Palm's graffiti application. U.S. Robotics was then acquired by 3Com, which at the time was Palm Inc.'s parent company. After it ruled that Palm had infringed Xerox's patent, the lower State Court ordered Palm to post a $50 million bond during the appeal process. Palm appealed the lower Court's ruling last month. While Palm lost the infringement portion of the case, it has not yet been determined whether Xerox's unique technology claim as part of a patent will hold water.

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