CSIRO settles WiFi patent dispute with 14 companies

The long-standing patent battle between the Australian government's research body, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), and 14 of the world's top WiFi companies has ended with a series of secret settlements.

"CSIRO has negotiated settlement with each of the 14 companies involved in four concurrent litigation cases," the agency said in a statement. "The commercial terms of the settlements with these companies will remain confidential."

The settlement ends the case that was being fought in Eastern District Court of Texas over CSIRO claiming it patented core parts of the technology used in 802.11a and 802.11g wireless devices. The CSIRO's U.S. patent for Wireless LAN technology was granted in January 1996.

In June 2007, the Texas court issued an injunction against WiFi equipment vendor Buffalo Technology. The court found that Buffalo Technology violated CSIRO's 1996 patent. CSIRO had subsequently used the case to bolster its royalty demands from other WiFi vendors. CSIRO filed patent infringement suits against 3Com, Accton, Asus, Belkin, D-Link, Fujitsu, Marvell, Nintendo, SMC and Toshiba. Several large vendors--including HP, Apple, Intel, Dell, Microsoft and Netgear--sought in court to invalidate CSIRO's patents.

However, as the case has unfolded in the Texas court, CSIRO had begun inking agreements with each party one-by-one.

For more:
- check out Australia's IT News

Related articles:
Court decision could hurt WiFi industry
Court lifts injunction, Buffalo to sell WiFi gear in US
CSIRO ready for WiFi patent fight

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