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HP announces litigation against Taiwan computer maker Acer for patent infringement

Hewlett-Packard is taking Acer to court over Acer's alleged infringement of five HP patents.  The lawsuit was filed today in a court located in the Eastern District of Texas. More specifically, HP believes Acer infringed on patents ranging from DVD editing, power management, processing capabilities, clock switching, and other technologies from 1997 to 2003. HP wants both unspecified damages and an injunction forcing Acer to immediately stop selling some products on the U.S. market.

"HP believes Acer has been selling computer products that use HP's patented technologies without permission. HP respects the intellectual property rights of others and expects the same treatment in return," HP said in a statement.  

Analysts believe this is a move that shows HP cannot afford to ignore Acer in the U.S. anymore. "Acer has become a threat that leading PC vendors cannot afford to neglect. We understand why competitors would desire a halt to Acer's expansion in the U.S. market," said Henry King, Golden Sachs analyst.

Acer has seen a high level of growth and acquired market share in the U.S.

HP mentioned that the patents involved with the Acer case are not the same ones in question from a Gateway patent infringement lawsuit that was settled last year. 


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GREED
By andrinoaa on 3/29/2007 12:55:16 AM , Rating: 1
I get pretty tired of reading about one megolomaniac suing another. If HP can't make products that sell, that's stiff cheddar. Using patents infringements as a ruse to bring some one down is pure greed. HP should be trying to make the next best products possible and not get carried away with what other people do or don't do. If its 3-4yrs old, its old technology, move on guys. If you need to fight dirty, maybe you need the money, maybe buying your products are risky purchases? LOL LOL?




RE: GREED
By cheetah2k on 3/29/2007 1:12:47 AM , Rating: 2
Greed is one thing (and HP with its current market dominance certainly doesn't need the ca$h), and while i like Acer (ever since they released those damn good fat midi-tower PC cases back in the mid 90's) they should follow the rules like everyone else.

This is merely a wake up call for Acer. And regardless of if this seems "fighting dirty", patents are registered and are globally accessible to OEM's. Why they don't do the necessary patent and cross patent research is beyond me.

It simply smells like Acer tried to get away with it, and failed. Putting it simply, "if you give someone enuff rope, they are bound to take it". HP has simply chosen to "cut" that rope.


RE: GREED
By ET on 3/29/2007 7:57:30 AM , Rating: 2
It'd be interesting to see what patents these are. The usual problem is that people implement something they think is obvious, and it ends up that it's patented. It's really hard to second guess everything you do by searching for a patent for it.

Think about it another way: if HP, which should know its patents, only now realised that Acer has infringed them, how easy would it be for Acer to find them in the first place?


RE: GREED
By theapparition on 3/29/2007 8:27:06 AM , Rating: 3
You act like Acer deliberately infringed upon HP's patents. The situation is just so much more complex than that.

Tell me, did you research the comment you just posted on Daily Tech, to make sure someone out there didn't post the same comments on another news site? How do you know someone didn't do that already, and now your rehashing their comments without giving permission. That's a form of plagirism.

I'm not trying to flame, and that was a stupid analogy, but it makes the point. People design things everday. And as the saying goes "great minds think alike". There are so many patents in the US database, all with cryptic names so that searching is difficult to do accurately. That is why companies hire professionals (patent attorneys) to do the searching, which are also not cheap. Would you pay to have someone seach every single design idea you put into a product? Besides being cost prohibitive, you would probably never release a product since it would take years to complete.

Once again, this comment is not directed just at you, but just the general idea that if a company violates a patent, they're a no-good SOB company that steals ideas from hard working good companies. Innocent patent infractions happen daily, and I would wager most companies don't realize they are infringing on a patent, and most companies don't know they have patents that are currently being infringed upon.

Now, what should happen when an "allegged" patent infraction is discovered, is the patent holder should contact the violating party, and begin discussions for resolution. Most of the time, these things are resolved quickly and fairly, with royalites being paid. I'm assuming HP did this with Acer, and those talks broke down, either because Acer felt the royalties were too high, or because Acer felt that they didn't infringe upon the patent in the first place (which is probably the case). Once again, patents have to be wrtten "broadly specific". That is, you can't patent everything blue, but you may be able to patent a blue computer case that has wings. Someone else may come out with a blue computer case with wings, but they argue that its not really blue, its really more a shade of cyan. So it's usually not a clear violation. (disclaimer...the proceding example was horrid, but it makes the point, and I don't want to get into a detailed discussion on patents).

As someone who has dozens of patents in his name, I have had to inform several companies of their infractions of my patents. I've also been served notice once on infringing on someone elses patent, which was completely valid. All were resolved quickly and fairly, no courts involved. Alas, it is always not so simple.


RE: GREED
By themadmilkman on 3/29/2007 11:13:39 AM , Rating: 2
Tell me, did you research the comment you just posted on Daily Tech, to make sure someone out there didn't post the same comments on another news site? How do you know someone didn't do that already, and now your rehashing their comments without giving permission. That's a form of plagirism.

Only if he had read those comments. You can't plagarize something that you have never read.


RE: GREED
By glenn8 on 3/29/2007 12:40:52 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Only if he had read those comments. You can't plagarize something that you have never read.


But wasn't that his point? That others would view what you're doing as plagiarism even if you didn't do it intentionally? It's analogous to this case that someone might produce something that they thought was obvious only to find out that they are being sued later because it was patented.


RE: GREED
By dcpizzle on 3/29/2007 8:20:04 AM , Rating: 2
since when is it "GREED" to stop people from stealing from you? patent infringements are not a ruse at all ... intellectual property is a huge component of technology.


RE: GREED
By AstroCreep on 3/29/2007 1:07:48 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If HP can't make products that sell, that's stiff cheddar.

Funny you should mention that since hp is the number 1 seller of computers world-wide at the moment.
quote:
Using patents infringements as a ruse to bring some one down is pure greed.

If it's by a company that is 'patent-squatting' (like companies that own graphic-related or memory-related patents and their only source of income is from licensing these patents and from lawsuits) then yeah, but if a patent is owned by a company that really uses them, people gotta pay-up.
Am I saying "hp is in the right"? No, simply because I don't know what those specific patents are used with, but your statement was a mix of anti-hp-fan-boy-ism and presumptuous guessing that said patents aren't being used prompted me to reply and explain why you've been modded down.

Independent research isn't a bad thing. :)


Different Method
By initialraymond on 3/28/2007 11:11:21 PM , Rating: 2
I thought HP just want to bring down Acer with other method, why dont they do it at the first place until when "Acer has become a threat ...." to them.




By AstroCreep on 3/29/2007 12:50:30 PM , Rating: 2
...to look in Acer and see if there has been any real theft.

Hmmm...on second thought, nevermind. :p




lolz pwnd
By tekzor on 3/28/07, Rating: -1
RE: lolz pwnd
By StevoLincolnite on 3/29/2007 5:27:56 AM , Rating: 2
I have never owned a HP machine, But I have had Acer laptops for years, and only recently gone for a DELL, to replace my 3 year Acer Aspire. (Which plays Oblivion still!!!!)
I have recommended several laptops to friends, One baught an Acer Extensa 2300 (Basic Celeron M), Another friend bought an Aspire 1690 and I have an Aspire 1680. And wanna know something in common? All of the drives in every machine has failed, (The Optical drives). With my Aspire 1680 after the DVD burner died, I just went and got an external drive, As finding a Laptop drive to suit is either hard, or really expensive. But a testament to Acers build quality, I used to take my laptop out on research trips, which involves going out to sand dunes out bush etc, Where it copped allot of punishment, Yet the machine as a hole still works like a charm, And After over clocking the Mobility 9700pro I didn't notice any increases in heat, And the fan still only powers up every now and then. Plus I love the way the Acer laptops look, They have a simplistic Silver and black look, (The mainstream models anyway) they are also thing, and not at all heavy, and thanks to the Pentium M processor, you don't get a burning sensation like you would with a Pentium 4/D mobility processor. Your HP may have 10X the spec, But think of the time difference and price points of the machines, If I bought an 800 dollar machine from Dell, then got another machine from acer for 4 grand, Hands down the Acer would win.
Acer have always worked for me, I have never had a problem with technical support either, Being in Australia it might be different here than the States or what not.

My Aspire 1680 is:
A Pentium M 1.6ghz Processor, Which I upgraded to a 2giga' chippy.
Came with 512mb of ram, Upgraded it to 1gb
Radeon 9700Pro Which, unfortunately I don't think is upgradeable. But I can do some decent over clocks :) And I'm happy enough to play Oblivion on it.
And I think its a 15.4" wide screen monitor with 1280x800 (I know its wide screen...) And Acer isn't a monopoly, A monopoly is when there is only 1 huge gigantic player.
And considering there is Commodore PC, Alienware, Dell, Toshiba, Compaq, Acer, Sony, IBM and others, makes no one a monopoly.


RE: lolz pwnd
By darkavatar on 3/29/2007 9:23:23 AM , Rating: 2
actually, I don't quite like the looks of acer notebooks. And even worse, they are ALL the same for quite a few years (not just the main stream). They're even the same across product lines; my 2 year old Travel Mate 3000 is the same basic design of a brand new Aspire 5610. Heck, even my friend's Ferrari 4005 is just a color change.

I know this is just personal preference, but I do hope they can at least give us something to choose from, so that I can have a different machine when I go buy a new one.


RE: lolz pwnd
By bwave on 3/30/2007 12:38:39 AM , Rating: 2
OK, but Acer didn't make the optical drive... most likely was lite-on. HP/Dell probably even use the same model drives, just with different bezels. Acer is very cheap on replacement parts for their units if you call them. And of course, you can buy a replacement internal dvd+rw for about $56.
The Acer notebooks are built very well, especially for the price. Notebooks take alot of abuse. I love when people say, oh the keyboard on my Acer wore out after 2 years, my HP keyboard is still ok. Ok, but you paid $529 for the Acer and $1299 for the HP. Pay $32 and get a new keyboard.


"Nowadays, security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally. I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine." -- Bill Gates











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