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Palm ordered to post bond in patent dispute

A US judge denied Xerox's request to stop sales of Palm handheld computers, but did order Palm and its former parent 3Com Corp. to post a $50m (£35m) bond as insurance in the long-standing patent dispute.

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

The injunction request was denied because the court judged that Xerox would not be irreparably harmed if sales continued. Palm and 3Com were ordered to post bond as insurance should the ruling be upheld by the appeal court.

In a separate statement, Palm repeated that it intends to pursue the appeal. The company maintains that its Graffiti handwriting recognition software, which is part of the Palm operating system, does not infringe the Xerox patent.

Xerox claims Graffiti is the same as the Unistrokes technology it developed at the Palo Alto Research Centre. The company first sued the makers of Palm PDAs in 1997, when Palm was still part of US Robotics before it was bought by 3Com.

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