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IP Firm Sues Over Core Products from Dell, Acer, Asus

By - Source: MJ | B 25 comments

A patent licensing company has hit Acer, Gateway, Acer as well as Dell with a patent infringement lawsuit that targets most of their product offerings.

In three separate filings, Round Rock Research claims that Acer, Gateway and Dell are violating eight of its patents, while Asus is infringing on nine.

All patents appear to have been acquired by Round Rock Research in a package deal from Micron on December 23, 2009. They affect inventions that were filed with the U.S. Patent Office between 1992 to 2005. The eight patents mentioned in the suit mainly refer to memory and storage technologies and include:

5,255,109: Heat dissipating LCD display

5,781,174: Image synthesizer and image pointing system

5,938,764: Apparatus for improved storage of computer system configuration information

5,991,843: Method and system for concurrent computer transaction processing

6,002,613: Data communication for memory

7,138,823: Method of generating a pulsed output signal from a periodic ramp signal and a reference voltage, and a switch mode power converter

7,285,979: Apparatus and method for independent control of on-die termination for output buffers of a memory device

7,389,369: Active termination control

The ninth patent played against Asus describes a "passivation planarization" technology that refers to a CMOS imaging device with a passivation layer providing a surface for a filter array.

Dell is accused of infringing the patents with its entire product line, including smartphones, tablets, notebooks, desktop and workstation systems computers. The suit targets Acer's H243 LCD, as well as the Aspire and Predator notebooks and Revo and Veriton desktop systems. The affected Asus devices include the VW246H LCD, the Essentio andd Eee desktop computers, all notebooks, T and R series servers and all motherboards manufactured by the company.

Acer, Asus and Dell declined to comment on the suit.

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  • 22 Hide
    DroKing , October 17, 2011 7:10 PM
    Why do they allow those companies to exist? Patent Trolls need to go away n stop harassing companies that are actually making products and using them.
  • 18 Hide
    11796pcs , October 17, 2011 7:24 PM
    Quote:
    A patent licensing company has hit Acer, Gateway, Acer as well as Dell with a patent infringement lawsuit that targets most of their product offerings.

    Someone obviously doesn't like Acer.
  • 11 Hide
    Anonymous , October 17, 2011 7:27 PM
    Yes, metals dissipate heat and are added to numerous things to do so. Applying a heat sink to a new device should not be a patent.
Other Comments
  • 22 Hide
    DroKing , October 17, 2011 7:10 PM
    Why do they allow those companies to exist? Patent Trolls need to go away n stop harassing companies that are actually making products and using them.
  • 18 Hide
    11796pcs , October 17, 2011 7:24 PM
    Quote:
    A patent licensing company has hit Acer, Gateway, Acer as well as Dell with a patent infringement lawsuit that targets most of their product offerings.

    Someone obviously doesn't like Acer.
  • 2 Hide
    de5_Roy , October 17, 2011 7:26 PM
    Quote:
    In three separate filings, Round Rock Research claims that Acer, Gateway and Dell are violating eight of its patents, while Asus is infringing on nine.

    how daRe they! patent tRoll Rises again.
  • 11 Hide
    Anonymous , October 17, 2011 7:27 PM
    Yes, metals dissipate heat and are added to numerous things to do so. Applying a heat sink to a new device should not be a patent.
  • 9 Hide
    Anonymous , October 17, 2011 7:27 PM
    I agree, patents were originally started to encourage development by guaranteeing the original creator of a device with some measure of legal protection. Now its being abused not by the people who create and invent, but by legal corporations that go around buying up patents so they can make money suing the geniuses that actually create the things we use. And it seems now days even the companies that are making things are still buying or filing patents left or right so they can gain a market monopoly through patent control. How far the once beneficial system has fallen. Now it only serves to stifle creativity leaving many would be inventors scared to enter the market, lest they go broke from lawsuits.
  • 5 Hide
    skyhide , October 17, 2011 7:29 PM
    Who the F*** started this sue-ing game? its kinda stupid and dumb....plus lame...
  • 6 Hide
    phasmantis , October 17, 2011 7:33 PM
    I feel like patent infringement suits have spiked in popularity. It's getting a bit out of hand, and I'm starting to feel bad for the companies "infringing" because I'm sure half the problems were thought up by themselves as an obvious/only solution.

    I'm tarting to worry if I'm infringing on any patents by the way I put on my pants...
  • 0 Hide
    Parrdacc , October 17, 2011 7:36 PM
    Hey the economy is crap. Everyone is hurting and needing money. I think I will create a company and look to see if I can't buy a package deal that includes patents going back the last 50 years or so and sue every company that might in some way, shape or form uses them :) 

    Man how I hate these companies.
  • 6 Hide
    davewolfgang , October 17, 2011 7:47 PM
    First throw these cases out.

    Then put the lawyers that filed it in jail.

    Then right next to them, put the person(s) at the patent office that keeps allowing the VERY GENERAL patents to keep being approved.
  • 2 Hide
    Sunfighterlc , October 17, 2011 7:48 PM
    Like any economic system, over time people learn how to skirt the rules or exploit an existing rule to their advantage. Its an unending war between regulators and exploiters. Sadly at least in here the USA, most our regulators are current or former exploiters.
  • 7 Hide
    JohnnyLucky , October 17, 2011 8:13 PM
    Old stuff from the 1990's and early 2000's. I never understood why someone would wait so long before taking action. Did it take so long to actually make whatever is described in a patent or is it just plain greed?
  • 8 Hide
    TeraMedia , October 17, 2011 8:19 PM
    So why didn't Micron sue these companies before unloading the portfolio? Something's fishy there.

    This looks like a case of a "defensive" patent being turned into a "troll" patent through a sale. And what if Micron's technology uses these patents too (which for some of them it might)? Do they too have to license or get sued? Or was part of the deal that they continue to possess an unlimited number of self-use licenses for an unlimited duration of time?

    It's like this company looked at all of the patents noted in a computer's getting started guide, scanned the patent filings from Micron to see whether they had any being "used" and not listed, and then offered to buy those from Micron for the sole purpose of suing Acer, Dell, Asus, Gateway, and maybe even Acer a second time if they're so inclined.

    Perhaps patents should be non-transferrable? In other words, "Use it or lose it."
  • 1 Hide
    TeraMedia , October 17, 2011 8:39 PM
    The CEO, a Mr. John Desmarais, is a known IP lawyer in NYC.

    Mr. Gerard deBlasi, the VP of licensing, also appears to have held a position as EVP, Licensing at IPValue Management, Inc. So either he's done this before, or the company changed names, or his linked-in is out-of-date, or he's moonlighting.

    The VP of S&M, Mr. Burris, doesn't appear as quickly on any rapid searches. Odd for a sales and marketing guy to be that poorly marketed on the internet.

    Lovely people. It is so wonderful that Irene didn't manage to flood their office and destroy their records on its way by.
  • 4 Hide
    mergatroid , October 17, 2011 8:41 PM
    Companies that do not produce products should not be allowed to own patents unless they are research companies who finance their research by selling patents to companies that make products.
  • 0 Hide
    Camikazi , October 17, 2011 8:55 PM
    JohnnyLuckyOld stuff from the 1990's and early 2000's. I never understood why someone would wait so long before taking action. Did it take so long to actually make whatever is described in a patent or is it just plain greed?

    They know it is a frivolous lawsuit, so they needed to wait for some precedence, once the first frivolous lawsuit made it through all hell broke loose.
  • 1 Hide
    sykozis , October 17, 2011 9:35 PM
    wow...a patent trolling company, who bought patents, is sueing based on said patents. I love this part....
    Quote:
    The affected Asus devices include the VW246H LCD, the Essentio andd Eee desktop computers, all notebooks, T and R series servers and all motherboards manufactured by the company.

    They really should do some research. Asus had a licensing agreement with Micron that permitted them to manufacture their products. Unless Asus was notified that their previous license agreement was null and void (as required by law), the patent trolls don't really have a leg to stand on. They were required by law to contact all effected companies at the time they purchased the patents. Also, the new owners of said patents have no legal rights to any profits from products produced/marketed prior to their purchasing of said patents.
  • 3 Hide
    TeraMedia , October 17, 2011 9:48 PM
    If you look at their site, it turns out that they have licensing and/or do-not-sue agreements with Apple, Micron, and a handful of other HW vendors. I can just imagine the sales pitch...

    "Dear [CEO of micron]:
    We are a prosperous and enterprising intellectual property company specializing in maximizing the profitability of 3rd party IP portfolios. If you will allow us to purchase your patent IP, specifically (...), we will grant you a ... license to continue to use your patents. We will also pass on to you x% of any lawsuit and royalty revenue we make with said patent.

    By the way, you are currently infringing upon our patents (a, b, and c), so if you do not accept this proposal we will simply get our money in court. Either way, we win. You lose."

    And IIRC, that was about the wording that the communist used before the president told him, "Get off of my plane."
  • 0 Hide
    cumi2k4 , October 18, 2011 1:26 AM
    And all this patent cases does not create a patent reform WHY???
  • 2 Hide
    alikum , October 18, 2011 2:48 AM
    phasmantisI feel like patent infringement suits have spiked in popularity. It's getting a bit out of hand, and I'm starting to feel bad for the companies "infringing" because I'm sure half the problems were thought up by themselves as an obvious/only solution. I'm tarting to worry if I'm infringing on any patents by the way I put on my pants...

    Now, that's MY PATENT. Remove your pants.
  • 0 Hide
    eddieroolz , October 18, 2011 4:51 AM
    I can't prevent these companies from hoarding IPs, but for God's sake please choose a better name.

    Round Rock simply sounds ridiculous.
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