Magistrate Judge Mary Pat Thynge of the US District Court for the District of Delaware has agreed with Palm and Handspring that NCR’s assertions of patent infringement against both companies are unfounded.
‘Palm respects valid patents and has taken licenses where appropriate,’ said Eric Benhamou, Palm chairman and chief executive officer. ‘We refuse to succumb to intimidation by companies that use charges of patent infringement to bully others.’
Donna Dubinsky, the Chief Executive Officer of Handspring, added that:’ Handspring vigorously protects its intellectual property and respects that of others. We will always aggressively fight meritless lawsuits, such as this one brought by NCR. Settlement of this case was never an option, despite the long process we knew it would take to obtain a favourable ruling.’
NCR filed suit against Palm and Handspring in March 2001, alleging that both the companies had infringed two of its decade-old patents for a type of ‘portable personal terminal.’ NCR itself has never used the patents in question, nor marketed a product covered by the patents.
NCR notified Handspring of its claim of infringement in March 2000, but never contacted Palm on the matter to seek resolution before filing suit in the US District Court in Delaware.