p2pnet.net News:- A battle royal is developing between Canadian broadband wireless equipment maker Wi-LAN and Cisco Systems.
Based in Calgary, Alberta, Wi-LAN has taken Cisco on, claiming patent infringement – for the second time, more or less.
In November, 2000, Wi-LAN sued Radiata Communications, a supplier of chipsets for high-speed wireless networks, saying the latter had infringed its Wideband Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (W-OFDM) patent.
In November, 2000, Cisco bought Radiata, based in Australia, saying, "This acquisition strengthens Cisco’s New World strategy by expanding its ability to deliver next generation wireless networks using the IEEE 802.11a standard for faster data rates."
And IEEE 802.11a is where the attention is focused.
"Following the successful settlement of the Redline Communications lawsuit, the wide market acceptance of Wi-LAN’s W-OFDM technology, and Wi-LAN’s recent purchase of 17 patents and patent applications that relate to the implementation of Wi-MAX Certified(1) products, Wi-LAN is escalating its active pursuit of licensing and protecting its intellectual property," Wi-LAN states here.
"In that regard, Wi-LAN has commenced legal action in Canada against Cisco Systems … for producing and marketing IEEE standard 802.11a and 802.11g devices without a license from Wi-LAN. Wi-LAN is seeking compensation for use of its intellectual property as well as punitive damages."
Cisco’s Linksys Division and Aironet product line utilize advanced OFDM technology which, says Wi-LAN, infringe on its Canadian patent 2,064,975 and US patents No. 5,282,222 and 5,555,268.
"Wi-LAN currently has intellectual property licensing agreements with Philips Semiconductor, Fujitsu Microelectronics of America and Redline Communications," it says.
"This legal action against Cisco puts the industry on notice that Wi-LAN will aggressively protect its patent rights,” says ceo and president Sayed-Amr (Sisso) El Hamamsy. "Wi-LAN has consistently maintained that its patents are necessary for the implementation of the 2nd Generation WiFi Alliance standards, IEEE 802.11a and 802.11g, and the WiMAX Forum standards, IEEE 802.16 and the ETSI BRAN HiperMAN.
"It’s our intent to collect, either directly or through component manufacturers, royalties from any company selling 802.11a, 802.11g or WiMAX Certified equipment."
Will Wi-LAN win this David and Goliath battle?
"We think we have a claim with merit," company business develoment Andrew Apedoe told p2pnet.
"We’ll say how badly they want to play this out."