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3D patent suit extended to Dell, HP, IBM, Sony, others

PC makers targeted as list of allegedly infringed patents grows

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Texas law firm McKool Smith has extended its 3D graphics patent violation litigation to target not just games publishers but hardware manufacturers.

According to a GameDailyBiz report, HP, Dell, IBM, Toshiba, Sony, Acer, MPC, Systemax, Fujitsu, Matsushita, Averatec, Polywell, Sharp, Twinhead, Uniwill and JVC are all named as defendants in the lawsuit.

While the games publishers are alleged to have infringed a single patent, 4,734,690, the hardware companies are accused of transgressing six further patents. Like the first patent, the others were granted to Tektronix.

The six patents are 4,730,185 (filed: 1984, granted: 1988), 5,132,670 (1989, 1992), 5,109,520 (1987, 1992), 4,742,474 (1985, 1988), 4,694,286 (1983, 1987), and 4,761,642 (1985, 1988).

One PC manufacturer source told the site: "The patents are a mixture of an extremely general, vague variety and of an incredibly dense and complex variety. Manufacturers would need to pay a patent lawyer a lot of money to decipher whether they're even in violation of the more complex ones or not.

"The bringer of this suit is very conscious of that," he accused.

McKool Smith does not comment on pending litigation. ®

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