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Wi-LAN sues Apple over Wi-Fi, HSPA wireless technology patents

post #1 of 18
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Wi-LAN, a company that has a history of patent infringement suits aimed at technology companies, set its sights on Apple Friday with a new lawsuit related to wireless technology.

In addition to Apple, the complaint also includes Alcatel-Lucent, Dell, Hewlett Packard, HTC, Kyocera, Novatel, and Sierra Wireless. All of the companies are accused of violating two wireless patents.

The first, U.S. Patent No. RE 37,802, is entitled "Multicode direct sequence spread spectrum. It covers technology related to cellular wireless standards CDMA and HSPA.

The second patent included in the complaint is U.S. Patent No. 5,282,222, "Method and apparatus for multiple access between transcievers in wireless communications using OFDM spread spectrum." It is related to Wi-Fi and 4G long-term evolution technology.

The complaint was filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Tyler Division. Patent infringement lawsuits are frequently filed there in hopes of a favorable outcome for the plaintiff.

Wi-LAN has an established history of targeting technology companies in patent infringement lawsuits, including previous spats with Apple. In 2007, Wi-LAN sued Apple over the use of Wi-Fi, while again last year, Apple was listed among a host of defendants for alleged patent infringement related to Bluetooth technology.



Other companies previously sued by Wi-LAN, which was founded in 1992, include Acer, Comcast, Lenovo, Motorola, Sony, Time Warner and Toshiba, just to name a few. Previous complaints were also filed in the Eastern District of Texas.

Wi-LAN announced Friday that it will be represented by McKool Smith, which it called "a leading U.S. law firm specializing in intellectual property litigation." The same firm is already representing Wi-LAN in its other patent infringement cases in Texas.
post #2 of 18
I guess it's too much to expect AI to report if they've ever successfully won a patent suit or forced a pre-trial licensing agreement.
post #3 of 18
One of the things that never gets reported is that Apple is buying components from others. The things covered in this patent (even if it's valid) are all baseband things - that is, it is functionality provided by the baseband chip provider. As such, if Apple's products are infringing, they should be indemnified by their chip supplier.

Another point is that this patent expires in about 8 months. By the time they get to trial, the patent will be expired, so future licensing or payments for future use are not likely. They can only get paid for prior infringement - which reduces the potential damages quite a bit.
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Gatorguy 5/31/13
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"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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post #4 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

One of the things that never gets reported is that Apple is buying components from others. The things covered in this patent (even if it's valid) are all baseband things - that is, it is functionality provided by the baseband chip provider. As such, if Apple's products are infringing, they should be indemnified by their chip supplier.

Another point is that this patent expires in about 8 months. By the time they get to trial, the patent will be expired, so future licensing or payments for future use are not likely. They can only get paid for prior infringement - which reduces the potential damages quite a bit.

Thank for the info. It is time AI had a new tab for all patent related articles and moved them out of the general articles. Also maybe they should hire a patent expert to cover those stories. They could title the new section , 'News from East Texas'
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Enjoying the new Mac Pro ... it's smokin'
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
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post #5 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

One of the things that never gets reported is that Apple is buying components from others. The things covered in this patent (even if it's valid) are all baseband things - that is, it is functionality provided by the baseband chip provider. As such, if Apple's products are infringing, they should be indemnified by their chip supplier.

Another point is that this patent expires in about 8 months. By the time they get to trial, the patent will be expired, so future licensing or payments for future use are not likely. They can only get paid for prior infringement - which reduces the potential damages quite a bit.

Where did you see the patent expiring in 8 months? It looks like it had set to expire in Sept of 2009. but was renewed. But the source for that could be wrong.

As an aside, there's something even more interesting about Wi-LAN. They're in the process of trying to buy a company named Mosaid, another Canadian business. Why is that interesting? Because Mosaid just won the rights to enforcement of 2000 Nokia patents in exchange for a cut of the revenue from licensing them.

Expect the lawsuits to just keep on coming. . .
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post #6 of 18
With a lawyer name like McCool Smith, they can't lose.
post #7 of 18
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Originally Posted by Eriamjh View Post

With a lawyer name like McCool Smith, they can't lose.

Not to be confused with McCool, Hand and Luke...
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post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Where did you see the patent expiring in 8 months? It looks like it had set to expire in Sept of 2009. but was renewed. But the source for that could be wrong.

As an aside, there's something even more interesting about Wi-LAN. They're in the process of trying to buy a company named Mosaid, another Canadian business. Why is that interesting? Because Mosaid just won the rights to enforcement of 2000 Nokia patents in exchange for a cut of the revenue from licensing them.

Expect the lawsuits to just keep on coming. . .

The patent was issued in March, 1992. Add the 20 year patent life to that and you get March, 2012.
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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post #9 of 18
Gotcha Jragosta. I think the term for that patent had to have been extended with the original expiration year indicated as 2009.

That's the truth AFAIK.

No hard feelings. Just try to be more careful before making accusations of lying.
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post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Thank for the info. It is time AI had a new tab for all patent related articles and moved them out of the general articles. Also maybe they should hire a patent expert to cover those stories. They could title the new section , 'News from East Texas'

As a Texas resident I am not proud of my fellow Texican up in East Texas having such a biased record. I must tell you that not all of us are so blind (or dumb) or maybe have a couple vacation homes paid for by legal firms and lobbyist (no I don't know anything, just speculating at what could make a single Court produce such erroneous judgements).

Hopefully those that move on to an appeal will be able to get a fair hearing elsewhere.

I wish I understood how these guys from timbuktu can come marching into that jurisdiction and file suit there. Can you just file a patent claim any damn place you want? Doesn't the defendant(s) have any say so in where this heard? Just one of many things broken about our system I am afraid.
post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Damn_Its_Hot View Post

As a Texas resident I am not proud of my fellow Texican up in East Texas having such a biased record. I must tell you that not all of us are so blind (or dumb) or maybe have a couple vacation homes paid for by legal firms and lobbyist (no I don't know anything, just speculating at what could make a single Court produce such erroneous judgements).

Hopefully those that move on to an appeal will be able to get a fair hearing elsewhere.

I wish I understood how these guys from timbuktu can come marching into that jurisdiction and file suit there. Can you just file a patent claim any damn place you want? Doesn't the defendant(s) have any say so in where this heard? Just one of many things broken about our system I am afraid.


After reading "The complaint was filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas" hundreds of times over the years I would like to know what the hell is going on. That would be one patent related article I would like to see AppleInsider do.

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     197619842014  

     Where were you when the hammer flew?  

 

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post #12 of 18
The modern day highway speed traps.
post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by jukes View Post

I guess it's too much to expect AI to report if they've ever successfully won a patent suit or forced a pre-trial licensing agreement.

I totally agree, this story is very amateur reporting at best

Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

 

"A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete...

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Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

 

"A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete...

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post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

The patent was issued in March, 1992. Add the 20 year patent life to that and you get March, 2012.

The 5282222 patent application was FILED on March 31, 1992, so it will expire on Mar 31, 2012.

The RE37802 patent application was filed on Sep 10, 1998 so it expires on Sep 10, 2018.
post #15 of 18
Thanks for following up on the dates Chabig.
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post #16 of 18
You're welcome. As an aside, RE37802 is a reissue of a patent that was filed in 1994. It might expire based on the original issue date. If so, then it would expire in Jan 2014. I'm not sure though.
post #17 of 18
I would almost bet that is Apple was not doing so well (like it was before steve came back) that these companies would not be suing like crazy.
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post #18 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1984 View Post

After reading "The complaint was filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas" hundreds of times over the years I would like to know what the hell is going on. That would be one patent related article I would like to see AppleInsider do.

Everyone comes to that particular court in the Eastern district of Texas, because the judge there almost always rules in favor of the Plaintiff in patent cases. I think a company should be limited to their state when suing. That would get rid of most of this nonsense.
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