Xerox sues US Robotics over handwriting patent

Xerox has sued US Robotics for patent infringement involving handwriting recognition technology for PDAs. The suit involves USR's Pilot handheld computer and Graffiti software, which Xerox alleges it invented in 1993 as its Unistrokes handwriting recognition technology.

Xerox has sued US Robotics for patent infringement involving handwriting recognition technology for PDAs.

The suit, filed Monday in US District Court in Rochester, New York, involves USR's Pilot handheld computer and Graffiti software, which Xerox alleges it invented in 1993 as its Unistrokes handwriting recognition technology.

Xerox claims that USR pushed ahead with developing its technology even after an official with Palm Computing, now a subsidiary of USR, was told several years ago that Xerox had a patent pending. The official had read about Xerox's patent after he had read an article about the technology, says Judd Everhart, a Xerox spokesman. Xerox was issued a patent in January which covers the use of an alphabet system for use in pen computers.

Despite licensing talks between Xerox and Palm officials, Palm continued to use the technology - even after the patent was issued - leading to the suit being filed this week, Everhart says.

Although the suit seeks triple damages and an injunction that would block further infringement, it does not specify a dollar amount. Xerox is willing to negotiate a settlement, he says.

USR officials had not yet seen the suit, and would not comment, said spokeswoman Karen Novak.

Xerox can be reached at http://www.xerox.com/.

US Robotics can be contacted at http://www.usr.com/.

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