This story was written by Keith Dawson for the Industry Standard's Media Grok email newsletter. It is archived here for informational purposes only because The Standard's site is no more. This material is Copyright 1999-2001 by Standard Media.

Peace and Strife in the Patent Wars
Mar 21 2000 12:00 AM PST

Xerox (XRX) and Hewlett-Packard (HWP) announced the settlement of a long-running tit-for-tat patent-dispute festival yesterday. Most outlets, even those assigning a reporter, contented themselves with a few grafs that closely followed AP and Reuters copy.

The NY Times' Carolyn Koo broke from the pack to detail the history of the patent shootout in which Xerox and HP traded fire over 13 months. In the end, each had launched three patent suits against the other. ZDNet was the only outlet that recalled the settlement last January of a trademark tiff between the same two companies.

The Los Angeles Times looked more broadly at the expanding patent battlefield through the spyglass of a little-reported suit Sun (SUNW) Microsystems has brought against Kingston Technology (dossier). Reporter P.J. Huffstutter captured the sentiment of those who find the patent system out of control in a quote from Kingston cofounder David Sun: "This is not about money. This is about principle ... I will not roll over and pay a license for patents that I know are wrong."

Riding in behind the Xerox-HP story, Wall Street Journal reporter Don Clark spotted the business-method patent that may ignite the next controversy. Accompany announced that it has received notice that it will earn a patent for its process of group buying over the Web. Clark noted that Yahoo (YHOO) has discussed adding aggregated buying to its shopping sites, and that AOL (dossier) is about to begin testing its own group-buying feature. Can you hear that? Is it the sound of big guns being loaded? - Keith Dawson

HP, Xerox Settle Patent Lawsuits (Reuters)

Hewlett-Packard, Xerox Settle Patent-Infringement Suits (AP)

Xerox and H-P Agree to Drop Patent Suits Aimed at Each Other
Wall Street Journal
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Xerox and Hewlett-Packard Settle
New York Times
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HP, Xerox Settle Patent Lawsuits

New Patent Rules Open High-Tech Battlefield
LA Times

Accompany Says It Will Get Patent on Web Group-Buying Technology
Wall Street Journal
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