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Monday, April 09, 2012
Inventor Wins Legal Round Against HP

Inventor, Richard P. Mettke of Columbus, Ohio won "round one" in Federal Court against Hewlett-Packard (HP) in their attempt to dismiss his lawsuit against them for fraud and contract breach.

The United States District Court, Southern District of Ohio ruled on April 6, 2012 that Mettke's lawsuit (Case # No.2:11-cv-410) could move forward to trial. Mettke filed a $275,000,000 lawsuit against HP on April 13, 2011 for fraud and contract breach.

HP said Mettke walked away with a minor win, adding that the court dismissed the fraud specification in the lawsuit because of Ohio's statute of limitations for fraud, which is four years. The Federal Court ruled that the breach of contract specification against HP could move forward to trial.

The case file states that HP settled a patent infringement lawsuit with Mettke on April 27, 1998. Mettke's patent was 5,602,905, "On-Line Communication Terminal/Apparatus." The suit was settled based on HP's representation that they had no "present plans to make, use or sell Internet Kiosks." The court filing states that in August of 1998 HP deployed "Internet Kiosks" to Circuit City, Best Buy and CompUSA to sell HP PC's and other related items. This was in direct contradiction to Mettke's settlement agreement. The court file further states that Hewlett-Packard clearly breached Mettke's settlement agreement; as well as committed fraud and bad faith in the negotiation and execution of the settlement agreement dated April 27, 1998.

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