The feature that allows users to recover data in PCs and Windows quickly is under threat, thanks to legal action from data recovery firm Xpoint. The company has sued  IT giants including Intel, Dell, Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft for infringing on its patents that allow users to restore data in the event of corrupted hardware or software.

Xpoint's patents involve quick recovery of data from secondary storage in case data on primary storage is corrupted or damaged.

Xpoint is seeking unspecified monetary damages and injunctive relief from companies selling infringing products. The company owns two patents related to the data recovery: 7,024,581, which was issued in April 2006 and 7,430,686, which was issued in September 2008 by the US Patent and Trademark Office.

The lead inventor of the patents was Xpoint CEO Frank Wang, who worked for six years at IBM as a member of the core technology team that developed the first IBM PC, according to the complaint.

In the complaint, Xpoint said it failed to reach licensing agreements with Intel, Dell, and HP, which allegedly used knowledge of Xpoint's patents to implement data recovery features in their products.

The company claimed that Intel had infringed on Xpoint's patents through data recovery technology used in its chipsets and motherboards. Intel used technology from Farstone Technology and Acronis, which Xpoint also sued.

Microsoft was also accused by Xpoint of infringing on patents with the System Restore feature in Windows Vista Home and Vista Basic. Similarly, Xpoint said backup and recovery features in Windows Vista Enterprise, Vista Business and Vista Ultimate infringed on its patents. HP and Dell were also accused of infringing on patents in Backup & Recovery Manager and One Button Restore features respectively.

The other companies filed by Xpoint include Gateway, Acer, and Toshiba.

Xpoint's lawyers declined further comment about the case. Intel couldn't be reached for comment.

Dell doesn't comment on pending litigation, said David Frink, a Dell spokesman.