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Patent row could reap big rewards for UK vendor

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The PC industry could be set for one of the biggest shake ups of recent years. UK PC manufacturer Elonex is attempting to prove that it owns the rights to power management technology used right across the industry. Last week Elonex took out lawsuits in the US against Dell, Packard Bell-NEC and Micron for alleged patent infringement. The furore surrounds technology for reduced power-consumption in colour monitors. Earlier this year, Elonex stopped Siemens using its power management technology, claiming it had invented it first and already licensed it to Hewlett Packard. If successful, the UK manufacturer could be in for a major windfall, while other manufacturers could find themselves handing over large bundles of cash to Elonex. Bob Raikes, research analyst at Meko, agrees that the implications for the industry could be significant. "If Elonex can prove that it does indeed have the patent, it could go knocking on everyone’s door, asking for compensation." Keith Warburton, executive director of the Personal Computer Association, said: "The financial implications could be massive. Whoever holds the patent could hit every PC manufacturer for every PC sold over the last four to five years." ®

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