Wifi standards creator pockets first royalties from industry

The Australian Commonwealth Scientific & Research Organisation (CSIRO) has cashed its first royalties cheque relating to its patent of the 802.11 wireless network standard.

These royalties come from the patent granted to the organisation in 1996 that it has consistently argued is essential for creating wireless networks in over 800 million devices currently on the market.

The CSIRO has been subject to several court battles over the past few years in defense of its patent, going head-to-head with the world's largest computer manufacturers including Microsoft, Dell, HP, Toshiba, Intel, Nintendo, D-Link, Asus, Belkin, 3com, SMC, Accton and Buffalo Technology.

Nigel Poole, the CSIRO's executive director said, "CSIRO set out to encourage the industry to take licenses for the use of its patented technology. When that did not prove successful, we initiated legal proceedings which then led to proceedings being initiated against CSIRO".

As a result, the organisation reached a confidential settlement earlier this year with two of the industry's largest players, being Fujitsu and HP, together with 12 other companies. The first royalties from these settlements, $AU200 million, was pocketed by the company yesterday, and analysts predict this figure will grow year-on-year as more settlements and licensing arrangements are made.

Yesterday the commercial and scientific teams responsible for the creation of the 802.11 wireless technology were awarded the Chairman's Medal for Research Achievement - the organisation's highest honour.

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