ROCHESTER, N.Y. — A federal judge has ordered handheld computer maker Palm Inc. and its former parent, 3Com Corp., to post a $50 million bond ina dispute with Xerox Corp. over a handwriting-recognition patent.
The struggling computer maker and 3Com, both based in Santa Clara, Calif., are appealing a Dec. 20 ruling that they infringed on Xerox’s patent of the technology, which allows users to enter letters and numbers into personal-data units with simple, one-stroke motions.
U.S. District Judge Michael Telesca ordered the bond Feb. 22.
If the Stamford, Conn.-based company prevails on the appeal, the bond “will ensure that Xerox is able to collect at least some, if not all, of the damages it will suffer as a result of 3Com’s infringement during the appeal period,” he wrote.
The bond covers only the potential damages that accrue during the appeal period, not the entire infringement period.
Xerox sued U.S. Robotics, later acquired by 3Com, in April 1997, claiming that the technology marketed as Graffiti and used in Palm, Handsprings and other handheld devices infringed a Xerox patent received on Jan. 21, 1997.
Telesca ruled in December that Xerox’s patent for Unistrokes technology invented at its research center in Palo Alto, Calif., was valid and was infringed upon by Palm and 3Com in devices that use “Graffiti” language.
Last week, the judge denied Xerox’s motion for an injunction that would have prevented Palm from selling its electronic organizers during the appeal period.
A rejection of Palm and 3Com’s appeal by the Court of Appeals would clear the way for Xerox to seek damages.
“We continue to serve notice that Xerox will always take the appropriate actions to protect its valuable patents from unauthorized use and infringement,” Xerox general counsel Christina Clayton said.