On 20 August 20 2003, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, in Washington, issued a precedential opinion reversing the judgment of non-infringement that had been previously entered in the E-Pass v. Palm and 3Com patent litigation. The Federal Circuit’s decision, binding on all U.S. District Courts in the United States, held that the E-pass patent is not limited to a credit-card sized device. The Federal Circuit further held that Palm sized PDA’s could literally, as well as under the doctrine of equivalents, infringe the E-pass patent.
A similar litigation against Microsoft and Compaq (now Hewlett Packard) in the U.S. District Court in Texas had been stayed pending the Federal Circuit decision. The basis for the stay is now over, the decision being binding upon the Texas court, and it is expected that both the Palm/3Com and Microsoft/Compaq litigations will resume sometime within the next four to six weeks.
This is the definition of e-Pass according to their website: "The e-pass device is best described as a credit card-sized computer, small enough to fit into a wallet, with one or more screens providing access to, and interaction between, different sources of data contained externally and/or within the unit itself. e-pass should be viewed as a broad-based mass-application technology that is positioned at the forefront of the next generation of smart card products. It represents one of the most significant points of convergence of the computing, information technology, communications and electronics fields."
Interesting to note that according to the e-Pass web site, the e-Pass concept is nothing else but a card reader.