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HP, Gateway split patent wins in dispute

Computer makers claim legal victories on patent infringement lawsuits related to PC and server technology.

Hewlett-Packard and Gateway both claimed legal victories on patent infringement lawsuits related to PC and server technology that were decided Monday by the U.S. International Trade Commission.

"We're very pleased with the result..." separate statements from representatives with both sides started.

Each camp quickly pointed out that they would appeal the unfavorable decisions in the U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals. Both companies are seeking injunctions and damages of undisclosed amounts on their individual complaints.

Palo Alto, Calif.-based HP claimed Gateway's products infringed on its patents and asked the courts to block Irvine, Calif.-based Gateway from importing PCs with parallel ports early next year. HP put forth seven patents initially and later withdrew three patents. The final two patents are found in Gateway desktop PCs, servers and a certain percentage of laptops, HP claims.

Gateway likewise sought to ban HP from importing certain computers, monitors and the components used to make them, because those products could allegedly infringe on three Gateway patents related to multimedia functions in computer keyboards and displays.

Gateway said it still has an International Trade Commission case against HP related to Gateway's patent covering Media Center PCs.

The legal sparring between the two companies got its start last March when Hewlett-Packard Development Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of HP, filed a patent infringement suit against Gateway in a district court in Southern California. That suit alleged that Gateway had infringed on six HP patents related to PCs and refused to properly compensate HP for their use.

At that time, Gateway pledged to defend itself, and in May it countersued HP, claiming HP violated five Gateway patents, unrelated to those named in its complaint with the International Trade Commission.