Electronics firms face lawsuit over Bluetooth

Three major electronics makers have been accused of violating patented work from the University of Washington with their use of the Bluetooth wireless technology found in millions of computers, cell phones and headsets, an Associated Press report said.

The Associated Press report said Japan's Matsushita Electric Industrial, South Korea's Samsung and Finland's Nokia were accused of illegally incorporating unlicensed Bluetooth chip sets in a variety of products.

The federal lawsuit seeks unspecified damages and an injunction barring the companies from selling those products, the report said.

Matsushita, known globally for its Panasonic brand products, and Samsung produce a wide range of electronics products, while Nokia is the world's largest manufacturer of cellular telephones.

The report said the lawsuit was filed late last month in US District Court in Seattle by the Washington Research Foundation, a nonprofit group that seeks commercial uses and enforces patents for technology developed at Washington's universities and nonprofit research institutions.

Analysts said that consumers likely won't be affected by the legal wrangling.

Nokia officials, following long-standing policy, would not comment on the lawsuit. A Samsung representative acknowledged that the lawsuit had been filed but would not comment further. No one answered a telephone call to Matsushita after business hours, the report said.