RealTime IT News

Gateway Sues HP Over Patents

Gateway went on the legal offensive against HP this week while maintaining a defensive position with regard to its own patents.

The Poway, Calif.-based electronics manufacturer filed legal papers Monday charging HP with five counts of patent infringement for technology that covers multimedia functionality, including "Wireless Interface For Standard Modems," "Multipurpose Computerized Television," "Expansion Card Hold Down Assembly," "Multimedia Computing and Telecommunications Workstation," and "Method and Apparatus for Monitoring The Operating Environment of a Computer System."

The 23-page complaint also counters claims that Gateway violated six HP patents, which address laptop hinges, keyboards that require passwords and the cursor that points to icons on a computer's video display.

Company spokesman David Hallisey told internetnews.com Gateway is seeking an unspecified amount of damages for the royalties it claims it is losing. The litigation came about only after talks between the two sides broke down following the completion of Gateway's acquisition of eMachines in March 2004.

"Our position is that given the scope and scale of Gateway's products and assets, they have a lot more at risk than we do," Gateway spokesman David Hallisey told internetnews.com. "We're disappointed that HP decided to go down this road."

A spokesperson for the Palo Alto, Calif.-based company said HP has a total of 17 patent claims against Gateway. In addition to the original six, the company said it found four more patents and an additional seven just last week. "Overall, our intent with the original suit was to get Gateway and eMachines to pay our intellectual property... we're not trying to block things," HP Vice President of Intellectual Licensing Joe Beyers told internetnews.com. "This is typical litigation tactics."

Gateway's suit against HP is separate from the company's legal dealings with Intergraph . Gateway was one of five companies sued by the technology company as part of its so-called "OEM case." Intergraph had filed patent infringement suits against Dell, Gateway and HP. Intergraph dismissed its case against Dell in April leaving the other two to mediation.

Hallisey would not comment on the pending suit with Intergraph, but commented that some movement would be expected relatively soon.