Five years ago: Xerox slaps USR with patent suit

Xerox Corporation has accused US Robotics (USR) of stealing its handwriting recognition technology

First published 1 May, 1997.

Xerox Corporation has accused US Robotics (USR) of stealing its handwriting recognition technology for use in its PalmPilot products, a year and a half after US Robotics bought Palm Computing and almost a year after the first Pilot products hit the shelves.

USR said it has yet to receive the patent infringement suit and therefore declined to comment. However, a Xerox announcement has said that the suit covers the use of its Unistrokes technology in Pilot products and the separately sold Grafitti software.

The Xerox patent for Unistrokes, which was specifcally designed for pen computing machines, was issued in January this year. Xerox has claimed that a vice president of Palm Computing had approached Xerox about licensing and was told that a patent was pending. "USR adopted it [Unistrokes] without obtaining a licence," said a company statement, "and when the patent was issued, the company talked with Xerox but still failed to take a licence."

Xerox has referred to the infringement as "willful and deliberate" and is therefore seeking an injunction and treble damages.

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