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Wi-Lan Sues Apple, Dell, Motorola Over Its Bluetooth Patents

12 апреля 2010

Wi-Lan Inc., a Canadian owner of patents for wireless technology, sued Apple Inc., the maker of the iPad tablet, and 18 other computer and phone makers, claiming they’re infringing its Bluetooth patents.

The suit, filed April 7 in federal court in Marshall, Texas, seeks unspecified damages for the alleged patent infringement and an order to stop the companies from using the technology. Bluetooth is used to transmit data and voice between devices such as computers and phones without wires.

Wi-Lan, based in Ottawa, isn’t likely to win an injunction, said Peter Strand, vice chairman of the commercial litigation committee at DRI, an international organization of civil defense attorneys. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a case against EBay Inc. in 2006 that other remedies may be better when technologies that are already widely used are involved.

“It’s extremely difficult to get a permanent injunction,” Strand, who isn’t involved in the case, said in a phone interview.

Wi-Lan is probably more interested in reaching small settlements with the companies involved, rather than pressing its case at trial, Strand said.

‘Nice Payday’

If Wi-Lan gets $50,000 from each of the 19 defendants “it’s a pretty nice payday,” Strand said. The company had revenue of $35 million last year and a net loss of $1.7 million.

McKool Smith PC, based in Dallas, is representing Wi-Lan. The company said in a statement yesterday that the law firm has successfully defended the patent rights of many high-profile companies in the U.S.

Other defendants include Motorola Inc. and Dell Inc.. Jennifer Erickson, a spokeswoman at Schaumburg, Illinois-based Motorola didn’t immediately respond to an e-mailed request for comment. David Frink, a spokesman for Round Rock, Texas-based Dell, said the company doesn’t comment on pending litigation.


Источник: Bloomberg

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