updated 12:20 pm EST, Wed January 3, 2007
Bluetooth patent lawsuit
Even as Samsung and other manufacturers continue to develop new Bluetooth products, a group from the United States is suing over patent infringement, Reuters reports. The Washington Research Foundation, a commercial outlet of the University of Washington, has filed for damages from Samsung, Nokia, and Panasonic, claiming that Bluetooth violates a patent registered by scientist Edwin Suominen in 1999. Suominen's technology is described as a "simplified high frequency broadband tuner and tuning method." Should the WRF lawsuit prove successful it could cripple the US mobile market, imposing royalties on a component which was previously an open specification. It would also affect British chip maker CSR, which does not sell directly to the States, but does supply over 50 percent of the world's Bluetooth chipsets.