by Anton Shilov
04/09/2010 | 12:07 PM
WiLan, a little known company that acquires patents in order to license them to third parties, this week accused numerous companies, including the world’s largest suppliers of personal computers and peripherals as well as leading makers of chips, of Bluetooth technology-related patents infringement.
WiLan said that it had commenced litigation in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division against Acer, Apple, Atheros Communications, Belkin International, Broadcom Corp., Dell, D-Link Corp., Gateway, Hewlett-Packard, Intel Corp., Lenovo Group, LG Electronics, Marvell Semiconductor, Motorola, Personal Communications Devices, Sony Corp., Texas Instruments, Toshiba Corp. and UTStarcom.
In its filing, WiLan claims that the aforementioned companies have infringed and continue to infringe WiLan’s U.S. Patent No. 5,515,369 by making and/or selling various products enabled with Bluetooth technology including cellular handsets and personal notebook computers. WiLan will be represented in this action by McKool Smith company.
WiLan is a company that specializes on acquisitions of intellectual property and patents from certain companies and then licensing them to actual implementers of manufacturers. At present WiLan has a large and growing portfolio of more than 800 issued or pending patents. WiLan has licensed its intellectual property to over 220 companies worldwide.
The practice of reselling intellectual property is somewhat questionable since the original inventor does not benefit from such business conduct. Nevertheless, it remains to be seen, which companies will settle the lawsuit and which will prefer a legal fight.