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Palm denies patent-infringement charge

Slapped by NCR with a lawsuit for alleged patent infringement, the handheld device maker says the case has no merit.

Slapped by NCR with a lawsuit for alleged patent infringement, handheld device maker Palm on Monday said the case has no merit.

The patents in question relate to handheld devices that perform financial transactions such as shopping over the Internet. Dayton, Ohio-based NCR says it received the patents in 1987.

It filed the suit last week in U.S. District Court in Delaware. NCR also named handheld maker Handspring in the suit for infringing the same patents.

NCR claims that Palm and Handspring knew about the NCR patents but chose not to seek licenses from NCR.

"Palm will defend itself vigorously," Stephen Yu, Palm's general counsel, said in a statement.

Last week, Handspring representatives said they are meeting with Palm lawyers and will contest the claim, which they said has no merit.

Palm accounted for about 60 percent of all handheld devices sold in the United States in January, and Handspring had a quarter of the market, according to PC Data. That makes them the No. 1 and No. 2 handheld makers stateside. Mountain View, Calif.-based Handspring licenses Palm's operating system.

NCR makes software and hardware such as digital scanners and ATM machines for the retail and financial sectors.