Wi-Fi Patent Ruling May Impact Apple

by , 1:30 PM EST, November 21st, 2006

A ruling by a U.S Federal Judge in Texas states that a government agency from Australia hold the patent rights to some of the technology used in wireless networking standards. The patent in question was filed in 1996 by Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, according to SDA Asia.

The group claims that its patented technology is found in some IEEE standards, potentially including the 802.11 standard used in wireless networking. At risk are large sums of money - either as licensing fees companies pay to Australia, or as profits for product sales.

Apple includes Wi-Fi technology in its computers, AirPort Extreme, and AirPort Express Base Stations.

Apple, Intel, Microsoft, Dell, HP, and Netgear have started legal action in hopes of overturning the patent, but the Australian group plans to fight the action.