Dell is being sued by a couple of smaller companies that claim the PC vendor violated several patents regarding technology related to tablet PCs.
The lawsuit, which was filed with the U.S. District Court of Eastern District of Texas Dec. 6, also names Motion Computing, an Austin, Texas, company that makes tablet PCs for a range of vertical markets, including government, education and health care.
The lawsuit was filed by Typhoon Touch Technologies, a Seattle company that develops touch-screen technology for PC displays, and Nova Mobility Systems, of Phoenix, which makes rugged tablet PCs and other hand-held devices. Typhoon licenses its technology to Nova for use in its tablets.
The lawsuit claims that both Dell and Motion Computing violated patents that Typhoon currently holds, including two for technology used for portable computers with a touch screen. The lawsuits seek unspecified damages from both Dell and Motion Computing.
While Dell is preparing to launch a new tablet PC—the Latitude XT—Dec. 11, the vendor has previously worked with other companies, including Motion Computing, to sell tablets to customers.
While the market for tablet PCs remains small and confined to certain vertical markets, the fact that Dell is jumping into the market could signal a growing acceptance of the PC for the mainstream enterprise market.
A spokesman for Dell declined to comment.
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