HPE has filed a lawsuit against Inspur Group for allegedly violating five of its server technology patents.

Per the complaint, which was first reported by The Register, HPE claims that the Chinese vendor infringed five of its patents, including server chips, storage devices, networking devices, and software, and then repeatedly ignored HPE’s requests to discuss the allegations.

– Getty Images

Inspur is the third-largest server manufacturer in the world and the largest in China, targeting cloud, enterprise data centers, and AI workloads. It is an active member of the Open Compute Project and operates joint ventures with IBM and Cisco within China to supply local businesses, as well as running its own cloud platform in the country.

The company operates a number of subsidiaries in the US and Singapore, all of which are named in the complaint. These include Inspur Group, Inspur Electronic Information Industry (IEIT Systems), Aivres Systems, Betapex, Inspur USA, and KAYTUS Singapore.

In March 2023, Inspur was added to the US Department of Commerce's 'Entity List,' essentially blacklisting US businesses from working with it.

In the filing with the California Northern District court, HPE accuses Inspur of removing its branding from products sold in the US, in part as an attempt to conceal the infringement but also to allow Inspur to continue trading in the country, despite the ban.

Citing “on information and belief”, the lawsuit alleges that Inspur Asset Holdings changed its name to Betapex in September 2023, as a direct result of its placement on the entity list and “the negative press coverage that followed thereafter.”

A table included in the filing also outlines the product specifications of four servers, all of which HPE alleges are the same product being sold by Inspur under different branding.

“On information and belief, Aivres’ KR2280-X1 server product was succeeded by a new generation server product, branded by Aivres as KR2280-X2. On information and belief and as shown in the table below, Aivres’ KR2280-X2 product is identical to KAYTUS’ KR2280V2 server product,” the complaint reads.

“HPE is a strong believer in the value and importance of protecting its intellectual property,” a spokesperson for HPE told DCD in a statement. "Inspur has infringed numerous HPE patents, and HPE has the obligation to file this lawsuit to defend HPE's leadership position resulting from its substantial R&D investments. This lawsuit is part of HPE's ongoing efforts to enforce its patent rights against anyone who may infringe on those rights."