Chinese firm sues HP, Toshiba over patent breaches: report
A Chinese electronics company has launched legal action against computer makers Hewlett-Packard and Toshiba over alleged infringements of its patents, a report said Tuesday.
Beijing Huaqi Information Digital Technology, better known by its brand name Aigo, accused HP and Toshiba of violating six patents for USB Plus, a storage port technology used in many laptop computers, the Financial Times said.
Aigo is seeking one million yuan (146,500 dollars) damages from HP, according to a complaint seen by the newspaper.
The company's lawyers sent letters to HP and Toshiba in China on March 12 demanding that they start negotiations within seven days, the report said.
It also sent letters to other computer makers Samsung, Sony and Dell with the same accusation, that they violated patents for the so-called eSATA/USB technology.
Aigo names a number of PC models whose USB ports it claims use its technology, including some of HP's Compaq Presario and Pavilion models and some of Dell's Inspiron, Studio and Vostro computers, the newspaper said.
On Monday, Aigo sued HP in a Beijing court and Toshiba in a Xian court, Lu Ersong, a company lawyer, was quoted as saying.
Kenny Hsieh, general manager of research, development and intellectual property at Aigo, said the company had tried and failed to negotiate with HP and Toshiba.
He told the newspaper that Aigo "might go after other laptop makers afterwards for sure. But we do expect all these laptop makers to respect the intellectual property which Aigo owns".
AFP calls to Aigo went unanswered.
The latest action comes after a Chinese court ruled last November that Microsoft had infringed a Chinese company's intellectual property rights by including certain fonts in its operating systems.
The court found Microsoft had exceeded the scope of a previous agreement to use and sell fonts owned by Zhongyi Electronic Ltd.
Microsoft said it would appeal the verdict.
(c) 2010 AFP