Feeds

Wi-LAN throws down Bluetooth patent glove

Not content with ongoing Wi-Fi suits

Boost IT visibility and business value

Updated Fighting everyone involved in Wi-Fi and WiMAX is not enough for Canadian patent hoarder Wi-LAN, which is now also slapping a suit on 31 companies connected to Bluetooth.

The list of targets includes Apple, Intel, Dell and Sony, along with component manufacturers such as Marvell, Broadcom and Texas Instruments, all of which are accused of breaching patent number 5,515,369 which covers just the kind of synchronised frequency hopping Bluetooth relies on.

This is not the only technology Wi-LAN has in its extensive portfolio - the company has ongoing litigation against most of the world regarding unavoidable components in the Wi-Fi standards. It also claims ownership of key patents covering WiMAX.

Apparently more than 220 companies have entered into licensing agreements with Wi-LAN, though the majority of those are for the company's V-Chip patents. Cisco was an early target which got called to court in 2004 and settled with the company in 2005, though the details of the settlement remain opaque. Other targets didn't get off so quickly: "Wi-LAN vs the rest of the world" has been rumbling on for two and a half years now to see who owns Wi-Fi.

When it's not updating its various litigious activities (which get their own web pages) Wi-LAN apparently does its own research and development, though the Bluetooth-covering patent was developed by chaps working at Metricom back in 1996, one of whom is now a Wireless VP at Cisco. We've asked Wi-LAN how and when they acquired the Bluetooth patent, but have not heard back as yet.

Meanwhile the hotels and boarding houses around Texas will again play host to the world's best legal minds as they pore over every word and punctuation mark of the patent over the next year or two. ®

Updated: Wi-LAN did get back to us, seems they bought the patent just over a month ago (2nd March 2010) - so not a direct result of their own R&D.

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Canadian ISP Shaw falls over with 'routing' sickness
How sure are you of cloud computing now?
Don't call it throttling: Ericsson 'priority' tech gives users their own slice of spectrum
Actually it's a nifty trick - at least you'll pay for what you get
Three floats Jolla in Hong Kong: Says Sailfish is '3rd option'
Network throws hat into ring with Linux-powered handsets
Fifteen zero days found in hacker router comp romp
Four routers rooted in SOHOpelessly Broken challenge
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
US TV stations bowl sueball directly at FCC's spectrum mega-sale
Broadcasters upset about coverage and cost as they shift up and down the dials
Trans-Pacific: Google spaffs cash on FAST undersea packet-flinging
One of 6 backers for new 60 Tbps cable to hook US to Japan
Tech city types developing 'Google Glass for the blind' app
An app and service where other people 'see' for you
UK mobile coverage is BETTER than EVER, networks tell Ofcom
Regulator swallows this line and parrots it back out at us. What are they playing at?
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.