Wi-LAN patent dispute clears major hurdle

The Canadian Press ~ OBJ
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Patent licensing Wi-LAN Inc. (TSX:WIN) (NASDAQ:WILN) says a Texas judge will proceed with its claim against several big-name companies that alleges their mobile devices and other wireless network equipment violate several of its patents.

WiLAN CEO Jim Skippen.

The Ottawa-based company said Thursday that Judge Leonard Davis of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas rejected all ten of the defendants disputes with the claim.

The lawsuit, also known as the Markman hearing, was first brought in October 2010 against Alcatel-Lucent USA Inc., Ericsson Inc., Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications, HTC America Inc. and LG Electronics and other related companies.

The Ottawa-based company alleges the companies infringed and are continuing to infringe on four of its U.S.-based wireless patents "by making and/or selling products enabled with 3GPP technology, including mobile handheld devices, base stations and other equipment."

"We are very pleased with the court's claim constructions and the timeliness of the release of the Markman Order," CEO Jim Skippen said Thursday.

"We believe that the constructions enable Wi-LAN to demonstrate infringement of the patents by the defendants' 3G HSPA base station and handset products. We remain very confident of our position in this case."

The suit was filed in a U.S. district court in Marshall, Texas – frequently the venue of choice for patent litigation.

Such suits are common in the technology industry and the stakes can be high, since the patents recognize legal rights to intellectual property – the know-how that is required to make gadgets and systems function.

Wi-LAN, which has a portfolio of patents that it licenses to other companies, will be represented by Vinson & Elkins, an international law firm with expertise in intellectual property litigation.

Shares in the company were up 3.19 per cent or 15 cents to close at $4.85 Thursday on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Organizations: Wi-LAN, US District Court, Alcatel-Lucent USA Ericsson Inc. Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications HTC America LG Electronics Toronto Stock Exchange

Geographic location: Ottawa, Marshall, Texas, U.S. Eastern District

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