Sunday, February 9, 2014

Acer, PanTaurus End Dispute over Computer Security Patent

Case Filed: Sep 03, 2013

Case Closed: Feb 03, 2014

Court: Texas Eastern District Court

Judge: Ron Clark

Case Summary:
Acer and more than a dozen other electronics makers were sued by Texas-based PanTaurus, which claimed the companies are violating a patent related to computer security. PanTaurus, a nonpracticing entity headquartered in Beaumont, Texas, filed 15 patent infringement lawsuits alleging numerous companies are violating a patent that describes a secure computer system. Some of the defendants are BlackBerry, Asus Computer, Sony Electronics and Hewlett-Packard. The lawsuits were identical patent-infringement allegations citing the accused products for each specific company.

The patent in question was US6272533 entitled “Secure Computer System And Method Of Providing Secure Access To A Computer System Including A Stand Alone Switch Operable To Inhibit Data Corruption On A Storage Device”, issued on Aug 01, 2001 and expiring[i] by Feb 16, 2019. The patent is currently assigned[ii] to PanTaurus (source: MaxVal’s Assignment Database).

PanTaurus complaint alleged defendant infringes the patent by making, using, importing, selling, offering for sale secure computer systems covered by one or more claims of the ‘533 patent, including Acer laptop computers (Aspire 5680, Travelmate 8210, etc.) equipped with self-encrypting hard drives and/or that are FIPS 140-2 compliant.

According to the complaint, the '533 patent has been forward-cited in approximately 60 U.S. patents, including patents that were originally assigned to industry prominent companies such as IBM, McAfee, Lenovo, Dell, etc. PanTaurus sought monetary damages and injunctions that would prohibit the defendant from continuing to infringe the asserted patent.

The parties filed agreed motion to dismiss the case, pursuant to which the Court granted and ordered dismissal with prejudice without imposing costs on any parties.

See 1:13-cv-00538 for more details. To get alerts on cases filed/closed, subscribe to our Litigation Alerts.

* Expected expiration date using Patent Term Estimator, use our free tool or download our free Android app on Google Play Store. 

[i] Expected expiration date. Patent Term Estimator is a free web-based tool that automatically calculates patent terms and expiration dates for U.S. utility patents.
[ii] MaxVal offers Patent Assignment Alert service where subscribers receive email alerts when assignments relating to target applications, patents or entities of interest are recorded. 

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