Wi-LAN Hits Apple, Others with Bluetooth Patent Lawsuit

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The Canada-based patent management company Wi-LAN slapped Apple and several other companies with a lawsuit on Thursday alleging violations of Bluetooth-related patents it owns. Like so many companies that pursue patent lawsuits, Wi-LAN filed its case in the Marshall Division of the U.S. District Court in Eastern Texas.

According to Wi-LAN, the companies named in its suit have been infringing on patent number 5,515,369 by making and selling mobile phones and laptop computers with Bluetooth technology.

Along with Apple, the suit named Acer, Atheros Communications Belkin, Broadcom Corporation, Dell, D-Link, Gateway, HP, Intel, Lenovo, LG, Marvell Semiconductor, Motorola, Personal Communications Devices, Sony, Texas Instruments, Toshiba, and UTStarcom.

Wi-LAN calls itself “a leading technology innovation and licensing company,” and manages a patent portfolio with over 800 patents, many of which it purchased from other companies. The company will be represented by McKool Smith, the same law firm that represented it in other patent lawsuits over the past few years — also in the Marshall Division in Eastern Texas.

Considering the company’s business model of licensing patents in its portfolio, or suing companies that it claims violate its patents, Wi-LAN is most likely hoping to get a big bank roll out of this case.

Apple has not commented on Wi-LAN’s lawsuit.

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Man, I really wish Apple would develop their own technology rather than steal other company’s intellectual property. [/sarcasm}


Ummmm Correct me if I am wrong, but wasn’t connecting laptops, and other small devices to each other the original INTENT of creating the Bluetooth standard to begin with?

If it is an “open”, or dedicated standard, then how can someone patent it?

Seems to me like creating the form factor of a plane, then patenting the flying of said plane.

*sigh* One more patent troll pokes its head out from under the bridge. Let’s hope Bilbo can keep it occupied till dawn…

From a snowy Fairbanks


*sigh* One more patent troll pokes its head out from under the bridge. Let?s hope Bilbo can keep it occupied till dawn?

+1 AKjohn. I kinda lose it when I read about these ?patent trolls.? Maybe I will patent a device that is connected with string between two cans that can pass information back and forth. Hmmm, sounds like ethernet, or maybe a, could be a, could be anything. Gosh, time to sue. Ridiculous sounding I know but so are some of these lawsuits.

Rant over, thanks for listening.

If it is an ?open?, or dedicated standardthen how can someone patent it

You mean like H.264 which is part of the HTML5 standard? Everyone that implements H.264 has to pay Apple a license fee.



Right. Exactly, but wasn’t there a Bluetooth “Committee” or “group” to take care of that licensing?

I know for a fact it was not “independently” developed by this company.

Thanks for the clarification.


Bluetooth’ is a proprietary open wireless technology standard for exchanging data over short distances (using short length radio waves) from fixed and mobile devices, creating personal area networks (PANs) with high levels of security. Invented by telecoms vendor Ericsson in 1994.

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