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 PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

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 News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?