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Apple bats away WiLAN cellular data patents sueball

Fruity firm wins case that Dell, HP, HTC and others settled

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Intellectual property licensing company WiLAN has lost a patent infringement lawsuit against Apple, despite scoring settlements against companies like Dell and HP.

The company was looking for $248m from the fruity firm for wireless tech used in its mobile devices, but a jury decided in just over an hour that Apple's products weren't infringing on WiLAN's intellectual property – and also that two of the patent claims were invalid.

Six of the seven defendants in the same case - Dell, HP, HTC, Alcatel Lucent, Novatel and Sierra Wireless - had already signed licensing agreements and settlement deals with WiLAN to sort out the case, leaving Apple the last one standing against it.

"WiLAN is disappointed with the jury's decision and is currently reviewing its options with trial counsel, McKool Smith," the firm said in a statement. "WiLAN does not believe previous license agreements signed related to the patents are negatively impacted by this decision."

WiLAN bags the vast majority of its cash from royalty payments and it hasn't been doing too well recently. Despite trousering $19.9m in revenue during Q2 this year, it ended up with a loss of $762,000 as it spaffed a lot of its cash on legal costs. Chief exec Jim Skippen said at the time that its litigation activity was "unusually high".

As well as the deals it signed in the current case, WiLAN managed to secure an agreement with Samsung over the summer, but it also lost a different case against Alcatel Lucent and Ericsson.

WiLAN said that the case against Apple "remains before the courts". ®

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