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Backup firm sues Intel, Microsoft, HP, Dell, Acer...

'One button restore is mine'

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A computer backup recovery firm claims Intel, Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Acer, and others have aped its patent for quickly restoring a PC after data corruption.

Xpoint Technologies is headed by David Wang, credited for the allegedly infringed upon US patents and claimed member of the original team that developed the first IBM Personal Computer.

Patents 7,024,581 and 7,430,686, called "Data Processing Recovery System and Method Spanning Multiple Operating Systems," were issued to Xpoint and Wang in April 2006 and September 2008, respectively. The first was filed October 9, 2002.

The patents describe creating a backup copy of a PC's primary storage in a separate storage area that also holds a secondary OS used for quicker recovery if the primary storage is corrupted.

Xpoint sells its technology as One Button Restore software. It also licenses the technology to IBM as it's Rapid Restore PC software used in ThinkPad notebooks and NetVista desktop systems.

The lawsuit claims that in September 2002 [note: before the patent was filed], Intel contacted Xpoint, requesting an evaluation license of the Rapid Restore software. Although Intel ultimately passed on licensing the technology, Xpoint alleges Intel used what it learned in descriptions and negotiations with the company to develop infringing technology.

Specifically, Xpoint fingers Intel chipsets and motherboards that use FarStone's RestoreIT system and Acronis True Image technology.

The motherboards and chipsets the lawsuit claims step on Xpoint's IP include "numerous" brands of desktops, laptops, and workstations sold by Dell, Acer, and Toshiba.

Xpoint also claims that on separate occasions, HP and Dell flirted with licensing agreements — and then used what they knew to make their own brand of backup software.

Finally, Xpoint claims Microsoft infringes on its patents with Windows Vista by using a second storage area for backup that includes a second operating system and user data.

The company seeks unspecified monetary damages as well as an injunction on the allegedly infringing software and hardware.

A copy of the lawsuit, filed in US District Court in Delware, is available here.

A request for comment via telephone to Xpoint was not immediately returned, and attempts by e-mail resulted in delivery failure errors. Hmmm. ®

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