March 27, 2007 4:04 PM PDT

Hewlett-Packard sues Acer for patent infringement

In a clash between two of the world's biggest computer companies, Hewlett-Packard is suing Acer for patent infringement.

The complaint, filed Tuesday in the U.S District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, seeks to prevent Acer from selling computers in the U.S. Both Acer and its U.S. subsidiary, Acer America, were named in the complaint.

"HP today is taking necessary action to protect its intellectual property against unauthorized use," the company said in a statement. The patents listed in the complaint are numbers 6,501,721; 6,438,697; 6,609,211; 5,892,933; and 5,596,759. They cover technologies such as read/write optical drives, power management in notebooks, and digital bus arrangement, according to copies of the patents filed with the complaint.

An Acer representative did not immediately return a call seeking comment. Acer is currently the fourth most popular PC company in the world, as measured by market share, but it has been growing over the last several quarters. HP leads the world in PC shipments.

Last year, HP settled a lawsuit with Gateway in which the two rivals each filed suit claiming patent infringement. An HP representative said the Acer lawsuit and patents are unrelated to the patents at issue in the Gateway case.

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3 comments

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Interesting that HP "invent":ed this...
Its just bad for HP:s image that a patents covering broad stuff as software is pulled forward as "inventions". Adding an edit bit (6,501,721), noticing if the PC needs more speed by logging CPU cache usage (6,438,697), or just measuring any such need in intervals (6,609,211)... those patentlawyers sure are inventive. :-) The best one is perhaps 5,596,759 where the patent covers starting a multi-cpu computer in the most obvious way. Acer could perhaps be able to pull a random stack of patents that anyone infringes in defense?
Posted by jbosson (4 comments )
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HP bullying
Hey, if they can't beat them in commerce, then why not slap a frivolous lawsuit on them for the most arcane patents and then get an injunction slapped on them for good measure... Thank you HP for showing us the way!
Posted by Raabscuttle (428 comments )
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I thought they were...
From everything that I have read, HP is "beating everyone in commerce." CNET just ran an article about HP taking Number one over Dell. I would imagine that a company that basis their reputation on inventing would do what they can to protect their patents. I would at least...
Posted by dsf32 (4 comments )
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