Compaq sues eMachines over patents

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Compaq sues eMachines over patents

Compaq Computer has filed suit against its low-cost rival eMachines, alleging the company made use of 13 Compaq patents without permission.

eMachines would not comment, though a spokesperson was aware of the suit.

Filed in the Southern District Court of Texas, the suit claims that eMachines used technology patented by Compaq, including selectable resolution monitor systems and a system designed to boot from CD-ROM or tape.

eMachines may be at a disadvantage because, as a startup, and has not yet acquired the cross-license agreements that are typical among the established PC makers. Compaq, Dell and other major PC makers have already cross-licensed their technology to each other, preventing them from being sued.

Two of the patents asserted in Monday’s complaint were used by Compaq against another low-cost PC maker, Packard Bell, in November in 1994. The suit lasted almost two years, ending in June of 1996 when Packard Bell agreed to pay license fees for 5 years.

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