Wi-LAN Hits Apple, Others with Bluetooth Patent Lawsuit

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.