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Patent dispute over Vista's System Restore tool

Microsoft, Dell and HP sued by Xpoint

An important feature to quickly recover data in PCs and Windows is under attack. Data recovery firm Xpoint earlier this week sued IT giants including Intel, Dell, HP and Microsoft for infringing on patents to quickly restore data in the event of corrupted hardware or software.

Xpoint's patents involve quick recovery of data from secondary storage in case data on primary storage is corrupted or damaged. Quick data recovery technology is widely used in products from PC makers like HP, Dell and Lenovo for users to quickly restore the operating systems.

Xpoint is seeking unspecified monetary damages and injunctive relief from companies selling infringing products. The company owns two patents related to the data recovery: 7,024,581, which was issued in April 2006 and 7,430,686, which was issued in September 2008 by the US Patent and Trademark Office.

The lead inventor of the patents was Xpoint CEO Frank Wang, who worked for six years at IBM as a member of the core technology team that developed the first IBM PC, according to the complaint filed on Monday.

In the complaint, Xpoint said it failed to reach licensing agreements with Intel, Dell and HP, which allegedly used knowledge of Xpoint's patents to implement data recovery features in their products.

Intel allegedly infringed on Xpoint's patents through data recovery technology used in its chipsets and motherboards. Intel used technology from Farstone Technology and Acronis, which Xpoint also sued.

Microsoft was also accused by Xpoint of infringing on patents with the System Restore feature in Windows Vista Home and Vista Basic. Similarly, Xpoint said backup and recovery features in Windows Vista Enterprise, Vista Business and Vista Ultimate infringed on its patents. HP and Dell were also accused of infringing on patents in Backup & Recovery Manager and One Button Restore features respectively.

The other companies filed by Xpoint include Gateway, Acer and Toshiba.

Xpoint's lawyers declined further comment about the case. Intel couldn't be reached for comment.

Dell doesn't comment on pending litigation, said David Frink, a Dell spokesman.


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