Acer sues HP again over patents

The rapidly growing Taiwanese PC maker files a countersuit against Hewlett-Packard over patents on computers, servers, and peripheral devices.

Two of the world's largest PC makers still can't seem to get along.

Acer is suing Hewlett-Packard again for patent violations. It's an escalation of the battle over the two companies' intellectual property that began earlier this year.

Filed in a U.S. District Court in Wisconsin and with the U.S. Internaional Trade Commission Tuesday, Acer said it is countersuing HP for infringing on its patents related to servers, PCs, and peripheral devices. HP declined to comment on Acer's suit.

HP initiated the fight in March when it sued Acer over five patents involving read/write optical drives, power management in notebooks, and digital bus arrangement. In the lawsuit filed in a U.S. District Court and with the International Trade Commission, HP demanded that Acer cease importing its products that infringe on those patents to the U.S.

Less than a month later, HP added four more patents regarding video control and heat management to the suit. Acer struck back in July, saying that HP had violated some of its patents on antenna and DVD-ROM head technology.

The stacks of legal documents flying back and forth come at a time when both companies are hitting their stride. HP has been the reigning No. 1 PC vendor in the world for the past year and continues to report strong quarterly results.

Meanwhile, Acer continues to push its market share higher with double-digit growth here in the U.S. In August, the Taiwanese company announced it would acquire Gateway, which Acer hopes will help put it squarely in front of rival Lenovo as the No. 3 most popular PC maker worldwide. Right now, Acer and Lenovo are running neck and neck.

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