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Acer investigates HP patent claims

Is HP fearful of Acer's aggressive growth?

Fast-growing PC vendor Acer is investigating allegations that its products infringe on patents held by rival HP.

"Acer respects the intellectual properties of third parties and is currently conducting a full investigation of these allegations made by Hewlett-Packard," Acer said. The company also pledged to support its customers through the lawsuit.

On Tuesday, HP filed suit against Acer in a US District Court, claiming the Taiwanese company knowingly violated patents related to optical drives, clock frequency switching and power consumption. HP's complaint seeks a jury trial and compensation from Acer, as well as treble damages for intentional violation of its patents.

But the lawsuit may have to do more with Acer's aggressive growth than patent infringement. HP's lawsuit is likely intended to slow down Acer's growth and US expansion plans, wrote Henry King, an analyst for Goldman Sachs.

However, Acer is likely protected from HP's patent claims by cross-licences held by the contract equipment makers who make computers for HP, Acer, and many other companies, he said.


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