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Wi-Fi suit targets Apple, Intel, 20 others

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.



By Electronista Staff
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  1. stainboy

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2005

    0

    looks like they found #2

    1. Collect Underpants 2. SUE EVERYBODY 3. Profit!

  1. Feathers

    Grizzled Veteran

    Joined: Oct 1999

    0

    One word...

    Texas! Fast becoming the capital of specious lawsuits!

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    0

    Woohoo!

    Finally these people are listening! Now at least they won't get blasted by the "But why sue Apple and no one else!" crowd. They're not just suing Apple. They're suing everyone!

    Be careful if the doorbell rings this morning. You might be on the list too!

  1. trevj

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Dec 1999

    0

    re. woohoo

    "Be careful if the doorbell rings this morning. You might be on the list too!"

    Or it could just be some really slow trick-or-treaters.

  1. howiethemacguy

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2007

    0

    Suing for profits....

    It seems like there are a lot of companies these days whose sole money making tactic is to sue larger companies for aleged patent infringement. Remember when Creative sued Apple and got $100,000,000? They coincidentally posted a $100,000,000 profit that same quarter. I think I'll patent the air and then sue everyone on earth for breathing it.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    0

    Re: suing for profits

    It seems like there are a lot of companies these days whose sole money making tactic is to sue larger companies for aleged patent infringement. Remember when Creative sued Apple and got $100,000,000? They coincidentally posted a $100,000,000 profit that same quarter.

    Well, duh. If you won a $100 million dollar lawsuit, you would also have to claim it as profit as well. What did you expect them to do, sneak it out to the cayman islands?

    And as opposed to your attempt at an argument, you might want to note that Creative is in 'real' business. They produce and sell actual products. They aren't one of those patent-holding companies that's very popular these days.

    However, an easy fix for the patent system would be to limit the ability of someone to sue over patent infringement, say two years from when the infringing product has reached common knowledge. This would prevent situations where someone with a patent from the late 90s waits 5 years after the iPod hits the market, then, once its a huge moneymaker, sue them for outrageous amounts of money (basically let someone use your patent to become successful so you can grab as much as possible).

    This would also allow for situations where, for example, a product like the Zune, which isn't well known, could be infringing, but no one knows it now. When it becomes a bigger seller in a couple of years (you know, they sell 20 a month!), then someone finally hears about a feature on it violates a patent, they still have recourse. Or if its not discovered for 7 years that, under the hood, the iPhone uses some hardware device that falls under someone's patent, but no one knew for a long time because of the way it was implemented.

    But I guess that's just a dream....

    I think I'll patent the air and then sue everyone on earth for breathing it.

    Can't. Prior art (I have documentation to prove I've been working on this for 30 years, at least!)

  1. trevj

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Dec 1999

    0

    re: suing for profits

    I think howie's point was just that if it wasn't for that $100 million, Creative's profit would have been zilch.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    0

    Re: suing for profits

    I think howie's point was just that if it wasn't for that $100 million, Creative's profit would have been zilch.

    Wow. And the point of that would be? That they normally break even or so? Wow. Maybe its because their products aren't incredibly overpriced and overhyped and such can't sell them for 30% margins.

    Just because a company might be breaking even has no correlation to the point at hand. Now, if the company in question had REVENUES of $100 million, that would be a completely different story.

    Oh, and lest we forget, there were many a fiscal quarter in the "good ol' days" where a majority of Apple's profit came from the sale of stock in ARM. Did that make them nothing more than a stock-holding company?

  1. smashedbanana

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2005

    0

    Creative Labs

    Ya definetly cry fowl for them and Microsoft. They've only had like 7 years to challenge the iPod. Who could possibly come up with an original idea in that time. What are they magicians?

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    0

    Re: creative labs

    Ya definetly cry fowl for them and Microsoft. They've only had like 7 years to challenge the iPod. Who could possibly come up with an original idea in that time. What are they magicians?

    Yeah, they couldn't come up with one original idea. Except the UI they patented and got Apple to pony up big bucks to keep using it.

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