Acer secures top lawyer for HP case

PC manufacturer's legal representative in the patents case has faced HP successfully before

Acer has hired a high-flying intellectual property lawyer to defend itself against patent claims made by HP.

The PC maker has chosen Chris Ottenweller from legal firm Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, who already has a successful track record against HP, according to Ottenweller came up against HP in 2002, when HP sued EMC over patents relating to data-storage technology. EMC ended up collecting $325m from HP three years later.

Ottenweller also represented Apple when it sued Microsoft for audiovisual copyright infringement over the graphical user interface (GUI) used in Windows.

HP claims that Acer has violated a series of patents owned by HP, and it has demanded that Acer stop selling its products in the US.

At the same time as revealing its choice of lawyer, Acer said it was looking for merger and acquisition opportunities and that it would be making at least one deal with an unspecified "small" company in the coming months.

Recent statistics from Gartner suggest that Acer overtook Lenovo in the first quarter of 2007 to reach third place in the worldwide PC sales ranking, behind HP and Dell.