Apple Joins Fight to Break CSIRO's Patent on Wireless Technology

ABC News Onlineis Australian Web site is reporting on Wednesday that Apple is joining Microsoft, Dell, Hewlett Packard, Intel and Netgear in the fight to break the U.S. patents on wireless technology held by Australiais Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). The government entity received a patent on wireless LAN technology in 1996, which means that any company creating and selling Wi-Fi devices, such as Appleis AirPort Extreme, must pay CSIRO royalties on the revenue.

In February, CSIRO initiated a court case against the Japanese company Buffalo Technology, which had stopped paying the licensing fees for the technology. Now Apple and the five other companies want a judge to rule that CSIROis patent is invalid and that none of them are in violation of it. According to a report on The Inquireris Web site, Dell and Intel filed one case together while the other companies banded together to file their own, similar suit, with Microsoft listed as the lead plaintiff.

CSIRO says that its licensing terms are reasonable and non-discriminatory and that it is determined to defend its patents.