In what's becoming a common strategy by patent plaintiffs to try and speed up the settlement process, IBM has asked the United States International Trade Commission to ban imports of Asus computers due to claimed patent violations. The two companies had a patent license that expired in December of 2004, and IBM says Asus has continued to use the disputed tech since that time, in both Asus-branded machines and machines it's OEM'd for others, like Apple and Dell. IBM isn't getting specific about which patents are being infringed, except to say that it's three patents that cover "important aspects of computer systems, including power supplies, computer cooling and computer clustering capabilities." As always with ITC hearings, there's a 45-day window for the Commission to make a determination, so you may want to snap up that Eee PC sooner rather than later.

Disclaimer: Although this post was written by an attorney, it is not meant to be legal advice or analysis and should not be taken as such.

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IBM tries to stop Asus imports over patent violations