Monday, June 9, 2008

HP and Acer end their patent litigation

Engaged in patent-infringement lawsuits in three federal courts, and under two US International Trade Commission investigations for well over a year, HP and Acer summarily ended their battle on Sunday.

HP threw the first punch in March 2007 in the US District court of the Eastern District of Texas, calling for monetary compensation for- and an injunction upon Acer's computers which supposedly infringed on five patents (referred to in the original suit as "the '721, '697, '211, '933, and '759 patents") held by HP, three of which it obtained when it acquired Compaq.

The company alleged, among other things, that Acer's design infringed upon HP's 1994 patent on technology for use with the EISA 16-bit bus. These suits came at a time when Acer had just overtaken Lenovo in PC market share.

After it gained some ammunition through its Gateway acquisition, Acer fired back with a countersuit for HP's use of dual-frequency antennas and unlicensed DVD-ROM reader heads.

Today's dual announcement from Acer and HP does not disclose terms of the settlement agreement, citing its confidentiality, saying only that each action will be dismissed.

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