Court sides with Palm in patent suit

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A U.S. federal court in California has agreed with Palm Inc. in a patent infringement lawsuit filed more than two years ago by E-Pass Technologies Inc., Palm said Thursday.

Federal Judge Lowell Jensen of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California granted Palm's request for summary judgment in the case on Monday, Palm said in a statement. The statement quoted Eric Benhamou, chairman and chief executive officer of Palm, as saying the company is "gratified that still another baseless claim of patent infringement was thrown out."

Last month a U.S. federal judge in Delaware ruled in a separate case that Palm did not infringe on patents held by software and component maker NCR Corp.

E-Pass's lawsuit, filed in February 2000, alleged that 3Com Corp. -- which later spun off Palm into a separate company -- infringed on a patent filed in 1994 by Hartmut Hennige, founder of E-Pass Technologies. Hennige's patent was for a multifunction, credit card-size computer that could be used to store multiple account numbers securely and retrieve information from other personal documents such as credit cards, according to an E-Pass release from 2000.

E-Pass's lawsuit also accused 3Com of advertising, promoting and selling its products with literature that instructed customers on how to use them in ways described very specifically in Hennige's patent. A call to E-Pass's McLean, Virginia, office requesting comment was not returned.

This story, "Court sides with Palm in patent suit" was originally published by PCWorld.

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