CSIRO chases mobile makers in patent battle

Agency is to target mobile phone manufacturers for royalties

The Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Research Organisation (CSIRO) has started following up from its successful wireless technology patent battle, by chasing royalty payments from another group of manufacturers.

According to a report in The Australian yesterday, the next group the scientific agency is targetting for patent infringements, includes mobile phone manufacturers who have Wi-Fi technology in smartphones.

A CSIRO spokesperson told The Australian: "We have licensed half the industry and now we're engaged in negotiations with the other half of the industry."

In 2005, the agency sued HP, Microsoft, Intel, Dell, Netgear, Toshiba, 3Com, Nintendo, D-Link and Buffalo Technologies, along with other technology companies, claiming the companies had infringed a US patent held by the CSIRO over its IEEE 802.11a and 802.11g Wi-Fi products, a standard that is used by almost every notebook and desktop wireless LAN device.

The agency announced mid-April that it had settled out of court with each of the 14 companies involved in the cases.

Although the commercial terms of the settlements remain confidential, the windfall is expected to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

US patent 5487069 was authorised in January 1996 and covers a wireless LAN, including hubs and peer-to-peer networks.

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Tags CSIROsmartphonesWi-Fi

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