Friday, November 17, 2006

More on the significance of CSIRO victory in WiFi

InformationWeek added some detail on the significance of CSIRO victory in ED Texas.

Townsend and Townsend and Crew, CSIRO's law firm, asserted the decision demonstrates the strength of CSIRO's position, and "has broad implications for the wireless industry as a whole."

A declaratory judgment [DJ] action in ND Ca (San Francisco) has been on hold pending a ruling in the Texas case. CSIRO wants to transfer all related litigation to Texas and the judge in ND Ca is expected to rule on that motion next week. If the case is transferred to ED Texas, it will be a blow to the DJ plaintiffs, Dell, Intel, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, and Netgear.

"The [ED Texas] ruling found that Buffalo's devices infringed," says Daniel J. Furniss, a partner at Townsend and Townsend and Crew, who believes that the patent applies to any product using the 802.11a or 802.11g standards for wireless communication.

The case does illustrate a problem an industry "outsider" (like CSIRO) faces in licensing a patent: CSIRO spent several years attempting to get companies to license its technology without success. "A lot them said we'll pay it if the other guy pays it," explains Furniss. "No one wants to pay a royalty if the competition doesn't pay too."


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