Palm erases ‘Graffiti’ in wake of Xerox suit

By : |January 14, 2003 0

NEW YORK: Spurred by a long-standing patent infringement legal battle with
office equipment maker Xerox Corp, Palm Inc has announced that it would
introduce a new handwriting recognition technology, Jot, which lets users enter
data by writing alphabet-like symbols on the screen.

PalmSource, the software arm of dominant handheld computer maker Palm, said
it signed an agreement with Communication Intelligence Corp., to license its
"Jot" handwriting recognition software, and embed it in its Palm OS
operating system. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

CIC’s "Jot" features an alphabet more natural and easy-to-learn
than the original "Graffiti," for which an upside down capital L
represented the letter "T," and a pretzel-like swish stood for the
letter "K."

"The Xerox lawsuit prompted us to take a fresh look at all the
handwriting recognition alternatives," said Palm spokeswoman Marlene Somsak.
"We made a decision that Jot is better technology … than Graffiti."

Xerox in 1997 sued U.S. Robotics, later acquired by former Palm parent 3Com,
over the "Graffiti" handwriting recognition technology. In 2002, a
court ordered Palm to post a $50 million bond following a ruling that Palm
infringed upon Xerox’s handwriting recognition software patent. Last week in
Washington D.C., Palm requested an appeal. A Xerox spokesman said a three-judge
panel is expected to render a decision in two to four months.

"Let’s says Palm wins the Xerox lawsuit … we are not returning to
Graffiti," Somsak said. "We believe that ‘Graffiti 2’ is

However, when asked if Xerox had any plans to target CIC for its handwriting
recognition technology, he said the company is focusing for now on the Palm
case. "If they (Palm) change, we will review it, but we know that we have
several years of damages with this handwriting recognition system to address,
and for now, we are focused on that," said Xerox spokesman Bill McKee.

© Reuters

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