updated 09:15 am EDT, Fri November 2, 2007
Wi-Fi suit targets Apple
An Ottawa, Canada-based company, Wi-LAN, has filed lawsuits against 22 technology companies over patent infringement. Two related actions were filed through a court in the Eastern District of Texas, and accuse companies of violating patents connected to Wi-Fi technology, as well as power consumption in DSL hardware. Notable is the prominence of the companies targeted: defendants include everyone from Apple, which builds wireless into its computers, iPhones, iPods and routers, to Best Buy, Dell, Intel, Sony, Texas Instruments and Toshiba.
"While we prefer to resolve patent infringement through business discussions," says a statement from Wi-LAN CEO Jim Skippen, "we have consistently maintained that litigation was always a possibility when negotiations do not result in a license within a reasonable time."
Wi-LAN's sole purpose as a company is the licensing of patents for electronics and communications products, which it is constantly acquiring. One company left out of the lawsuit is Fujitsu, which in July formed a preliminary deal with Wi-LAN to license the latter's patents in their entirety. The company is said to have over 280 patents held or pending.