Microsoft, Apple, others fight Australian WiFi patent

A group of US high tech giants, including Microsoft, Dell, HP, Intel, Apple Computer, and Netgear, have posed a legal challenge to a WiFi patent awarded in Australia. Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) was awarded the WiFi patent in question in 1996, which the agency claims relates to technologies used in several IEEE wireless standards. In an announcement yesterday, the CSIRO said that Microsoft, Dell, HP, Intel, Apple, and Netgear had started legal action to try and get the patent overturned.

CSIRO vowed to fight the challenge and claimed that the technology covered by its patent is "now a standard feature" for most WiFi-enabled devices. Established tech giants have an interest in keeping WiFi as open a standard as possible. Proprietary technology claims could undermine WiFi, raising the cost of technology and fragmenting ecosystems of vendors that companies like Intel have spent millions of dollars to build.

For more on the WiFi patent fight down under:
- check out this piece from ZDNet