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Row between Siemens Nixdorf and VESA takes on US dimension

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A further twist to the saga over Siemens Nixdorf's Powersave technology has emerged after the company announced it had been granted a US patent. Two months ago, industry association VESA sent out a letter to its members saying it was pulling parts of its monitor spec after it had failed to reach agreement with Siemens-Nixdorf. The Powersave patent is part of the PC99 specification. Last year it sent out a letter to over 70 OEMs in Europe over the same patent asking them to enter negotiations over its use. That drew ire from European members of VESA. Earlier this month, Siemens Nixdorf looked like it had capitulated to VESA and would freely license the patent. But today, Siemens Nixdorf, in announcing the granting of its US patent, said that US manufacturers and providers must license it in the US. The company claims that its patent gives saves of around $100 a year for PC users. That poses questions about whether Siemens Nixdorf is still engaged in a spat with VESA. The statement from Siemens Nixdorf said: "The US patent rights granted for the Powersave technology, which has been incorporated into almost all PCs and monitors, means that United States manufacturers and providers require a license to use it. Siemens intends to issue license agreements in the United States, similar to those already issued in Europe, to cover the patent rights." No-one from Siemens Nixdorf was available to comment on the fresh twist. Keith Warburton, executive director of the UK-based trade association, the PCA, said: "Siemens needs to say how many licences have been issued in Europe. Potentially, we will see more protest about this now." ® Related stories Row over VESA spec breaks out That VESA letter in full Siemens surrenders to VESA

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