WiLAN files patent lawsuits against Apple and others

A new round of patent lawsuits in the tech industry have now hit the court system. The company WiLAN, which has a long history of legal actions, announced today that it has filed complaints against Apple, Dell, HP, HTC, Kyocera, Novatel, Sierra Wireless and Alcatel-Lucent.  In its press release, WiLAN, " ... claims that these companies have infringed and continue to infringe WiLAN’s U.S. Patent No. RE37,802 (“the ‘802’ Patent”) related to CDMA and HSPA and U.S. Patent No. 5,282,222 (“the ‘222’ Patent”) related to Wi-Fi and LTE." Details about how the companies specifically infringed on WiLAN's patents were not revealed in its press release.

The lawsuits have been filled at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Tyler Division. As AppleInsider points out, filing these lawsuits in this particular district was no coincidence. The Tyler Division has had a history of favorable verdicts for the plaintiffs in previous patent lawsuit cases. The lawsuit seeks both damages and an injunction against the companies to stop them from offering products that use the disputed technology.

Founded in 1992, WiLAN has had a long history of patent infringement lawsuits against a number of well known companies. It currently owns the rights to over 1,400 patents. News.com reports that Apple was the subject of another one of WiLAN's infringement lawsuits back in 2007 along with 21 other companies. Earlier this year it struck again, suing Apple, Dell, HP, Lenovo, Motorola, Sony, and Toshiba, among others, over a patent related to Bluetooth wireless technology.

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6 Comments

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nah.. thats what you do, you get some really good ideas together, patent them, wait until other people get the same ideas and build and release a product, then when they have become profitable you announce that you had their idea first and can prove it through the patent. then they are forced to either stop making said product or you can settle with them for a percentage of their profit which should also include retroactive.
if i had a patent for every idea that i had before a product was created i would be very rich right now.

what shocked me is that I have never heard of this company and they have 1400 patents. They must have some really good R&D department or really good at predicting future technology.

If so many different companies are using the patent then the idea isn't unique and the patent is too general. right?

how can they be sued on these?

the companies buy the components from manufacturers that i assume have the patent permissions/etc to do it....

or is this another case of patenting something stupid to try and make money later..

Midgetman said,
how can they be sued on these?

the companies buy the components from manufacturers that i assume have the patent permissions/etc to do it....

or is this another case of patenting something stupid to try and make money later..

Patenting something stupid, yet again.