April 23, 2007 8:59 AM PDT

HP sues Acer again over patents

Less than a month after it sued rival PC manufacturer Acer over five alleged patent infringements, Hewlett-Packard has added another four patents to the list.

On March 27, HP filed a complaint against Acer in a Texas court, which claimed that Acer was infringing patents covering technologies such as read/write optical drives, power management in notebooks and digital bus arrangement.

As with that complaint, the new lawsuit--filed on Thursday--seeks to stop Taiwan-based Acer from exporting its PCs to the U.S. and selling them there. The areas of focus of the four patents this time range from thermal management to video control, and are being disputed through a complaint filed with the same court and a separate complaint lodged with the U.S. International Trade Commission.

"The filings were necessary because HP believes Acer has been importing into the United States and selling computer products that use HP's patented technologies without permission. HP will continue to take action to protect its intellectual property against unauthorized use. HP respects the intellectual property rights of others, and we expect the same treatment in return," a statement from HP said.

The first patent (6,691,236) involved in the new lawsuit relates to "portable computer systems that conserve power by altering the performance of the video graphics controller depending on the system's power source or battery condition."

The second (6,029,119) covers the management of multiple cooling options in a personal computer; the third (5,535,415) the ability to allow "concurrent bus operations to increase computer efficiency"; and the fourth (6,894,706) "various methods and apparatuses for determining the resolution of graphics received from a computer and scaling it to match the fixed resolution of a display device."

HP claims to hold more than 6,000 patents related to PC technology, "including power management, DVD editing and a broad range of other features that improve computer efficiency and enhance the user's computer experience."

Figures released by analysts at Gartner in January indicated that Acer remained the fastest-growing PC manufacturer in the world for the third year running. Acer has the fourth-highest market share, behind HP, Dell and Lenovo.

Acer was unavailable to comment on the lawsuit at the time of writing.

David Meyer of ZDNet UK reported from London.

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7 comments

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Thats idiotic
They have the patent for variable power graphics cards? That means either everyone licenses their technology (for a product they dont even make) or HP is bullying up on the small companies.
Posted by jjesusfreak01 (83 comments )
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bullying small companies
Small companies? It's not like Acer is the Mom and Pop pc store down the street. They are number 4 in the world. Plus they manufacture PCs and components for many other vendors.

As I understand it, the problem is Acer has manufactured PCs for other vendors and then used the IP in their own PCs without properly licensing it.
Posted by hedred (20 comments )
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HP is stupid!
HP is dumb plus they don't really include any power management technologies that I'm aware of. Acer on the other hand does and it makes their notebooks to run longer. HP sucks!
Posted by jhdezjr (10 comments )
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They don't have power managment technology? I have an HP Pavillion DV9000 and it absolutely has power management depending on whether you want to preserve your battery life or you want optimal performance. You're talking out of your a$$ and hating big companies just for the helluva it.
Posted by Steves850 (2 comments )
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I think Acer is offering value for money based on their own technology as they pioneered many technological innovations and set industry standards.
Posted by na1166 (1 comment )
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Off the subject but both my son and neighbor bought ACER laptops and both of their pc's crashed. They both tried using the software that came with their pc's to reload them only to get an error message that the software was pirated, ie, invalid. Nothing they've tried has helped.
Anyone with the same problem?
Posted by wishing123 (1 comment )
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