Wi-LAN Sues 19 Electronics Companies Over Bluetooth Patents
On April 7, 2010, Wi-LAN, a Canadian wireless technology company, filed suit against 19 consumer electronics companies alleging patent infringement. The list of accused companies includes Apple, Intel, Dell, Lenovo, Acer, and Sony, as well as component manufacturers such as Marvell, Broadcom and Texas Instruments. Wi-LAN has accused the companies of infringing its Bluetooth technology patent, “Method for frequency sharing and frequency punchout in frequency hopping communications network.” Bluetooth is a technology that allows the exchange of data over short distances without the use of wires.
Several experts and analysts predict that the court will not rule in Wi-LAN’s favor as the technology is already widely used and incorporated into many devices. The experts are suggesting that Wi-LAN is hoping for small settlements from each company which could result in an overall large sum for the company.
The case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division seeking unspecified damages and an injunction to stop the companies from using the technology.
By Ellen Wong