Companies working with popular standards for wireless technology may have a patent infringement problem. A federal judge in Tyler, Texas, ruled last week that an Australian government agency holds the rights to patents on the underlying technology used in two Wi-Fi standards and a third proposed standard. The decision–if it survives what many assume will be a lengthy appeals process–could have a wide-ranging impact on wireless equipment makers and consumer electronics manufacturers. “If the cost of the technology goes up to pay for the license, even a little bit, it could throw off the economics.” –Stan Schatt, vice president at ABI Research Judge Leonard Davis ruled that a patent granted in 1996 to the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia’s national science agency, is valid. The patent describes the implementation of several aspects of the 802.11a and 802.11g wireless standards developed by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). The court also ruled that Buffalo Technology, a small maker of Wi-Fi routing gear, had violated this patent. The judge in the case issued a summary judgment, which indicates the court is wholly convinced by the evidence, to the point where there are no questions of fact. In… Read full this story
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