IBM has filed a complaint with the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) against ASUStek of Taiwan for alleged patent infringement. If you recall, ASUS is the maker of the new ultra-portable computer called the Eee PC.
IBM asserts that it made repeated attempts to reach a licensing agreement with ASUS before filing a complaint.
IBM listed three alleged offending patents: U.S. Patent No. 5,008,829, Personal computer power supply; U.S. Patent No. 5,249,741, Automatic fan speed control; and U.S. Patent No. 5,371,852, Method and apparatus for making a cluster of computers appear as a single host on a network.
It is interesting that IBM did not file a patent suite against ASUS, which is something that could take years, and chose to resolve it via ITC instead.
Indeed, the U.S. company itself noted that the U.S. ITC, an independent federal agency, has the authority to bar the import of foreign-built products that are deemed to infringe U.S. patents.