Acer files patent counterclaim against HP

Acer has filed a patent counterclaim against rival Hewlett-Packard as part of its response to two HP lawsuits.

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Acer has filed a patent counterclaim against rival Hewlett-Packard as part of its response to two HP lawsuits.

The lawsuits come amid a major push by Acer into the US PC market, and brisk global growth. The Taiwanese company's shipments to the US, HP's home turf, grew 163.8% year-on-year in the second quarter, according to preliminary figures by market researcher IDC. HP has also been gaining market share in PCs at the expense of other rivals such as Dell, but Acer remains the fastest-growing PC maker among the top 10.

The counterclaim filed last week by Acer alleges HP has infringed its antenna and DVD-ROM head technology patents. The suit was filed in the same court as the HP lawsuits against Acer – the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.

The HP lawsuits claim that Acer has infringed 10 HP patents related to PCs. The world's largest PC vendor is seeking to block Acer PC imports to the US and is asking for compensation from Acer, payment of legal fees, and triple damages for alleged intentional violation of the patents.

Court documents in the Acer counterclaim were not available at the time of writing.

Acer has said it believes its contracts with contract PC makers indemnify it from HP's claims, and has already filed a lawsuit against three of its suppliers aimed at forcing them to live up to their contracts. Many laptop and desktop PC suppliers do the design and manufacturing work for customers. Acer said that since its suppliers worked on the design of the PCs in question, they should share the burden of the HP lawsuit. The supplier agreements specifically indemnify the company from lawsuits such as the two brought about by HP, Acer said.

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