Acer strikes back at HP lawsuit

Acer has hired a lawyer that helped win a major patent case against HP as part of its defense against two HP patent lawsuits

Acer has hired a lawyer that helped win a big patent case against Hewlett-Packard (HP) two years ago to help defend itself against two HP patent lawsuits, Acer's chairman said Friday.

The Taiwanese company has retained intellectual-property lawyer Chris Ottenweller of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe for its defense against the lawsuits, said Acer Chairman J.T. Wang during the company's first-quarter investors' conference in Taipei.

Ottenweller is known for representing EMC in a patent case brought by HP in which EMC emerged the victor. EMC filed a counterclaim against HP and their legal dispute ended in May 2005, with HP agreeing to pay EMC US$325 million in a settlement.

Acer hopes Ottenweller can do as well in its cases.

HP filed two lawsuits against Acer this year in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, alleging that the company infringed on 10 HP patents related to PCs. HP is seeking jury trials and compensation from Acer, as well as treble damages for alleged intentional violation of the patents and payment of its legal fees.

The lawsuits come as Acer continues to gain market share in the global PC business, and some analysts have called the lawsuits a response to the inroads Acer has made in the U.S. PC market.

Acer has said it is investigating the claims internally and that it respects the intellectual-property rights of others. It may also be planning legal action of its own.

"Acer is looking into the unlicensed use of its own intellectual property," Wang said, without referring to any companies by name. Acer owns approximately 1,000 PC-related patents worldwide, he said.

Most of Acer's designs are based on industry standards, Wang said. "We don't try to be unique," he said. In any case, he argued, Acer is protected by indemnification clauses in agreements held by its contract manufacturers. "The agreements are there, and the agreements are valid," he said.

Acer probably is protected by such clauses, which are included in patent license agreements held by its contract manufacturers, according to Henry King, an analyst for Goldman Sachs (Asia) in Taipei.

HP officials were not immediately available for comment.

Acer's share of the worldwide PC market rose to 6.8 percent in the first quarter, up 46.1 percent over the same three months last year, according to market researcher Gartner. HP also increased its share of the PC market, and retained its crown as the number-one vendor with a 17.6 percent share, although its growth was slower than Acer's, at 28.7 percent.

Acer overtook Lenovo during the quarter to become the third largest PC vendor, while Lenovo dropped to fourth with a 6.3 percent share. Acer executives said they expect to increase PC shipments by 30 percent to 40 percent year-on-year this year.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Dan Nystedt

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?