Wi-LAN sues Motorola, RIM and UTStarCom over patents

The controversial company Wi-LAN--whose sole mission is the license patents to third parties--has filed patent lawsuits in a U.S. District Court in Marshall, Texas, a court that has been sympathetic to patent holders in the past by granting some fat damage awards, against Motorola, Research in Motion and UTStarCom. Wi-LAN claims these three companies are infringing on its patents for making and selling products that include mobile handheld devices and other equipment.

Some call Wi-LAN a patent troll, and the company's co-founder, Hatim Zaghloul, resigned from the company at the beginning of 2006 following disputes over the company's strategy of moving away from manufacturing products and becoming just a patent holder. The company recently reported revenues of $3.2 million in the second quarter ending in March and predicted sales of $20 million this year.

Last November, Wi-LAN initiated two patent infringement lawsuits against 22 different companies over WiFi and DSL. The suits were also filed in Marshall, Texas. Wi-LAN is charging infringement on three of its patents, two of which related to WiFi technology and one that has to do with power consumption on DSL products. The companies being sued include some big names: Apple, Dell, Intel, Texas Instruments, Sony, Lenovo, Broadcom, Acer, Best Buy and Circuit City. Wi-LAN CEO Jim Skippen had said then that Wi-LAN has plenty of funds to go after companies it says infringe on the company's patents.

Wi-LAN also announced that it settled a patent dispute with Marvell Semiconductor in a U.S. District Court in California.

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Wi-LAN initiates patent lawsuits against 22 companies. Wi-LAN story