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Court clears Palm, Handspring on patents

A U.S. District Court judge in Delaware rejects ATM giant NCR's claim that the two handheld makers violated it patents in their handheld devices.

A court has rejected a claim from ATM giant NCR that Palm and Handspring violated its patents in their handheld devices.

NCR, a maker of automated teller machines and other finance-related hardware and software, filed the lawsuit in March 2001, claiming its patents relate to performing financial transactions on communications networks via handheld devices. NCR's lawsuit contended that Palm and Handspring knew about the patents but chose not to seek licenses from NCR.

A U.S. District Court judge in Delaware granted Palm and Handspring a summary judgment on Thursday, saying that neither company violated the patents, according to the two companies.

"Palm respects valid patents and has taken licenses where appropriate," Palm CEO Eric Benhamou said in a statement. "We refuse to succumb to intimidation by companies that use charges of patent infringement to bully others."

An NCR representative said the company's legal team is reviewing the decision.