E-Pass resumes patent case against Palm

A US appeals court judge has overturned a ruling that handheld devices from Palm did not infringe on a patent held by E-Pass...

A US appeals court judge has overturned a ruling that handheld devices from Palm did not infringe on a patent held by E-Pass Technologies.

The court's decision allows the litigation between E-Pass and Palm, Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard to resume.

The case involves a patent held by E-Pass covering a portable device that can store credit cards and documents electronically, as well as conduct transactions, said Stephen Weiss, an attorney with Moses & Singer, representing E-Pass.

E-Pass believed that personal digital assistants (PDAs) made by Palm and HP infringe upon that patent, he said.

E-Pass first filed a lawsuit against 3Com, Palm's former parent company, in February 2000.

The US District Court for the Northern District of California granted Palm's request for summary judgement in August 2002, but E-Pass appealed that decision.

The appeals court decided that the original judgment concluded that Palm devices did not infringe upon E-Pass' patent because the PDAs were larger than a credit card.

The device at issue is an "electronic multifunction card", which was described as being about the size of a standard credit card in the patent. Since PDAs are much larger than a credit card, the literal standard of patent infringement did not apply to Palm's products.

The appeals court ruled that the patent holder was only suggesting a type of electronic multifunction card, not specifying the size of the device.

Since the E-Pass patent was meant to cover an electronic device that would replace the wallet, E-Pass is now referring to the infringing devices as wallet-sized, Weiss said.

E-Pass will also resume litigation that had been stayed pending the appeals court's decision against Compaq, now a part of HP.

E-Pass is seeking damages and an injunction against Palm and HP PDAs, as well as any wallet-sized device that can store credit card numbers and make purchases.

Tom Krazit writes for IDG News Service

Read more on IT legislation and regulation

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.