E-Pass Technologies Inc. says it will appeal a summary judgment ruling by a U.S. federal district judge in the company’s copyright infringement case against Palm Inc.
Federal Judge Lowell Jensen of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
last week granted Palm’s request for summary judgment
in the case. Summary judgment is a ruling in which the judge decides there are no factual issues that remain to be tried in a case and so parts of the case, or the entire complaint, can be decided without going to trial.
The judge’s opinion is “replete with errors,” the McLean, Virginia-based company said in a release Monday.
Among the errors, according to E-Pass, is the judge’s conclusion that E-Pass had established that Palm handheld computers were the equivalent of a device made by E-Pass. E-Pass, however, has never produced a product. The comparison before the court was between the E-Pass patent and the Palm device, E-Pass said.
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 E-Pass.
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.
The appeal will be filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C.