A federal judge ordered Palm ( PALM) and former parent 3Com ( COMS) to post a $50 million bond to cover potential damages in a patent suit brought by Xerox ( XRX) over handwriting-recognition technology.

However, Judge Michael Telesca of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York denied Xerox's motion for an injunction that would have prevented Palm from selling its electronic organizers during the appeals period.

The order follows a Dec. 20 ruling in which Telesca found Xerox's Unistrokes patent was infringed by Palm's and 3Com's handheld organizers. The claim dates to a 1997 suit brought by Xerox against U.S. Robotics over its Graffiti handwriting-recognition software. 3Com subsequently acquired U.S. Robotics.

The $50 million bond is intended to ensure Xerox is able to collect damages that accrue during the appeals process.

If the appeal is rejected, Xerox said, the next step is for the trial court to determine the amount of damages for past infringement of the patent.