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Palm loses patent ruling

E-Pass Technologies said this week that it won a ruling that allows it to proceed with a patent-infringement suit against handheld maker Palm. A federal judge had earlier ruled that the E-Pass patent was limited to credit card-sized devices and that Palm's handhelds did not meet that standard, but a federal appeals court this week reversed that decision.

Nonetheless, a Palm representative predicted that its defense of the suit will ultimately be successful. "We do have the full expectation of prevailing in the case," the Palm representative said. E-Pass said the appeals court ruling will also mean its separate case against Microsoft and Compaq Computer (now Hewlett-Packard) can proceed.