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IBM sues Asustek over patent dispute

Big Blue calls for import ban as licensing row goes legal

IBM is calling on the US government to ban imports of computers and networking kit manufactured by Asustek over alleged patent violations.

Big Blue alleges that computers made by the Taiwanese firm for other vendors as well as its own-brand computers violate three IBM patents. The third-party manufacturers were not named in a complaint filed by IBM against Asustek and its North American subsidiary, ASUS Computer International, with the US International Trade Commission on Thursday. Asustek's clients include Apple and Dell.

Products alleged to infringe the patents - which cover technologies including power supplies, cooling, and clustering - include notebook, servers, and networking kit from Asustek.

IBM spokesman Ari Fishkind told Reuters that the dispute stems from Asustek's continued use of IBM patented technology after the expiry of a licensing agreement in December 2004.

Asustek has set a goal of becoming the world's fifth largest notebook computer vendor by 2010. It launched a line of laptops under the Eee PC brand in October amid hopes of shifting between three million and five million units globally by the end of next year. ®

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