Palm OS - Legal Issues

Legal Issues

Palm OS has been involved in various lawsuits over the years.

Xerox vs. Palm Computing (1997) In 1997, Xerox was granted a patent (5,596,656) on "unistroke." It filed suit against Palm (then U.S. Robotics), alleging that Graffiti infringed on this patent. The Palm OS switch from Graffiti 1 to Graffiti 2 was triggered by Palm losing this suit to Xerox. The patent was overturned in May 2004 due to prior art.

Pilot Pen Corporation vs. Palm Computing (1998) The original name for Palm OS handhelds was Pilot. However, a lawsuit from Pilot Pen Corporation forced a name change to PalmPilot, then eventually to Palm.

Palm vs. Microsoft (1998) In 1998, Microsoft planned to name the next version of their handheld computing platform "Palm PC". Palm filed suit against Microsoft, forcing the name change to, first, Palm-sized PC, and later, Pocket PC.

E-Pass Technologies vs. Palm, Microsoft and HP (2000) In 2000, E-Pass Technologies filed suit against Palm, alleging that its handhelds infringed on an E-Pass's patent (#5,276,311) for a multi-function, credit card-sized computer that allows users to securely store account numbers, PIN codes, etc.. This lawsuit continues.

NCR vs. Handspring and Palm (2001) In 1987, NCR was granted a patent for a portable e-commerce terminal. In 2001, NCR sued Handspring and Palm. This case was ruled without merit in 2002, a decision that was upheld on appeal.

RIM vs. Handspring (2002) In 2002, Research In Motion (makers of the BlackBerry), sued Handspring. By year end, both Handspring and Palm licensed the patents and the suit was dropped.

Peer-to-Peer Systems vs. Palm (2002) Also in 2002, Peer-to-Peer systems filed lawsuit against Palm that alleges Palm infringed on its patent for wireless gaming. This lawsuit has been settled as of February 9, 2005.

Forgent Networks vs. HP, Toshiba, palmOne, etc., etc. (2004) Starting in 2002, Forgent Networks began offering licenses for a patent that encumbers JPEG. In 2004, it filed suit against various companies, including palmOne. The JPEG or 672 patent has been reviewed by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office which has rejected 19 of the 47 claims based on prior art.

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