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Patent Hoarder Sues Acer, Asus, MSI and Lenovo for Video IP Infringement

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The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has decided to start an investigation based on a patent infringement complaint filed by VideoLabs, a patent aggregator, against four big PC makers from China and Taiwan. The plaintiff asks the ITC to issue a limited exclusion order and cease and desist orders to prevent the importation of select devices by Acer, Asus, MSI, Motorola Mobility, and Lenovo into the U.S. 

VideoLabs asserts that PCs (and other devices) made by Acer, Asus, MSI, Motorola Mobility (owned by Lenovo), and Lenovo featuring certain GPUs with video processing capabilities infringe four patents owned by the patent aggregator. VideoLabs filed the complaint against the PC makers with the U.S. ITC on July 1, 2022. The Commission will now conduct an investigation and if it finds that those computers infringe patents owned by the plaintiff, it may ban sales of certain products by the aforementioned companies in the U.S. 

Three U.S. patents in question — 7,769,2388,139,8788,208,542 — cover video coding methods developed in early 2000s by Panasonic. Meanwhile, the fourth patent — 7,372,452 — describes a method of video playback on portable devices with automatic adjustment according to a rotating direction of the screen. It was originally issued to Samsung in early 2000s. The patents can seemingly be applied to almost all modern devices with video processing and display capabilities, including PCs, media players, smartphones, tablets, and even televisions. 

Acer, Asus, MSI, Motorola Mobility, and Lenovo have yet to issue comments on the investigation by the ITC. 

Established in 2018, VideoLabs specializes in the aggregation of video processing IP. Since its foundation, the company has acquired hundreds of patents from numerous holders and licensed them to a variety of companies, including Disney, and two Fortune 100 companies. In the last 18 months or so, VideoLabs has also filed patent infringement complaints against Amazon, Dell, Meta, and Netflix. 

VideoLabs owns patents originating from Nokia Corp., Alcatel-Lucent, Siemens AG, Swisscom AG, 3Com, Panasonic and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE). In fact, HPE, Kudelski S.A., and Swisscom are members in the VideoLabs patent collective.

 

 

Anton Shilov
Anton Shilov

Anton Shilov is a Freelance News Writer at Tom’s Hardware US. Over the past couple of decades, he has covered everything from CPUs and GPUs to supercomputers and from modern process technologies and latest fab tools to high-tech industry trends.

  • CompuGuy71
    These patents are so broad, how can they possibly be enforceable? I mean almost every device can do the things that they are suing over.
    Reply
  • King_V
    Man, this seems like a huge gamble. Those are some big companies that VideoLabs is going after.

    Is VL absolutely sure they can win on the merits? Or are they hoping for quick settlements like the typical patent trolls?

    Hopefully someone pulls a NewEgg on VideoLabs.
    Reply
  • peachpuff
    Whose gpus are in these computers?
    Reply
  • The Wizzard
    Obvious patent troll is obvious. All these patents are way too broad, and they've waited WAY too long with devices 'using' this tech to be realistic in their efforts to stop 'abuse' of their IP.

    Somebody needs to pull a Newegg, absolutely, and get those trash patents invalidated.
    Reply
  • ravewulf
    Companies like this shouldn't be allowed to exist
    Reply
  • vern72
    If they patents are from the early 2000s then aren't they about to expire?
    Reply
  • TheOtherOne
    Watch the season 3 finale of The Orville and BS like this might be one of the many reasons we may not see any other alien civilization (if they exist) in near future, if EVER!
    Reply