Published: 23 March, 2011
Canadian patent hoarder Mosaid Technologies is the latest such firm to file suit against a raft of vendors, this time over Wi-Fi patents. It claims any Wi-Fi product needs to pay fees for its IPR, filing its actions just two days after announcing licensing deals with LG and Mediatek.
"We believe that all companies offering products that implement the Wi-Fi standard require a license to our wireless patents," said CEO John Lindgren in a statement, after the suit was filed in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. Among 16 firms named are Dell, RIM, Atheros (soon to be part of Qualcomm), Huawei, Intel, Marvell, Asustek and CSR.
Mosaid had, earlier in the week, announced new agreements included an eight-year deal with LG and a five-year one with Mediatek, both relating to microcomponents. The company claims to have about 2,000 patents, in the telecoms, wireless and semiconductor spheres.
The company, along with its fellow Canadian patent troll Wi-Lan, expressed interest last year in Nortel’s extensive range of IPR. However, these patents are likely to be beyond its budget, with most of the major OEMs said to be interested, particularly on the LTE side. Two weeks ago Nortel received another extension to complete its bankruptcy procedure (until the end of June), partly because sale of its IPR business had been delayed, apparently because nobody had yet offered the price it wanted.
For now, Mosaid is ramping up the pressure for the patents it does hold, which made it profits of $7.4m in the last quarter. Other licensees include Sony and Sharp, and it settled out of court with IBM late last year, after suing the giant in 2009. In August, Cisco filed a complaint alleging infringement of nine US patents and one patent application concerning Power over Ethernet. That case is still before the courts. Just to keep its lawyers busy Mosaid also has a breach of contract complaint pending against LSI and Agere, from which it bought over 20 patents related to WiMAX and Wi-Fi in 2007.
Other firms named in its latest lawsuit are Canon USA, Digi International, Lexmark, Murata, Ralink (to be acquired by Mediatek), Realtek, Wasp Barcode Technologies, Wistron and Venture Research.
“Since 2008, we have licensed our portfolio of wireless patents and applications to 15 companies that have recognized the value of this intellectual property,” continued Lindgren.