Compaq sues emachines over patents

Compaq Computer has filed a lawsuit against low-cost PC maker emachines charging the South Korea-based firm and three of its affiliates with patent infringement - but it hasn't said which emachines products allegedly violate Compaq's patents.

Compaq Computer has filed a lawsuit against low-cost PC maker emachines charging the South Korea-based firm and three of its affiliates with patent infringement.

Compaq's lawsuit, filed in US District Court for the Southern District of Houston, Texas, accuses emachines and its three affiliates -- Trigem Computer Inc., Korea Data Systems and TriGem America -- of infringing on 13 of Compaq's patents.

Founded in September 1998, emachines was set up as a joint venture between Korean PC manufacturer TriGem Computer and monitor maker Korea Data Systems. The company jumped into the spotlight late last year when it announced plans to sell a sub-US$500 personal computer to commercial and retail markets.

"We cannot allow our investments in research and development to be misappropriated by emachines or anyone else," Thomas C. Siekman, Compaq senior vice president and general counsel, said in a statement.

Compaq couldn't immediately be reached for further comment, and it was not immediately clear which emachines products allegedly violate Compaq's patents.

Meanwhile, emachines is keeping mum.

"We don't have any comment at this time," said emachines spokeswoman Pattie Adams

Emachines, in Irvine, California, can be reached at +1-714-505-5001 or at http://www.e4me.com/. Compaq, in Houston, can be reached at +1-281-370-0670 or at http://www.compaq.com/.

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