WiLAN sues Apple, Dell, HP, HTC, and others over wireless tech

Wi-LAN (general)

Canadian patent holding company WiLan has announced it has launched litigation against a broad swatch of technology companies, alleging their product infringe on two patents related to CMDA/HSPA technology, as well as Wi-Fi and 4G LTE mobile technologies. The suit specifically targets Apple, Alcatel-Lucent, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, HTC, Kyocera, Novatel, and Sierra Wireless, and cites U.S. patent RE37,802 and 5,282,222—of the two, the latter is most intriguing becausde it was applied for all the way back in 1992 and granted in 1994—years before the LTE and Wi-Fi technologies it’s now being applied to were developed or gaining any sort of adoption.

WiLan files the suit in the patent holder-friendly eastern district of Texas.

WiLan claims to hold about 1,400 patents that it licenses to more than 250 companies around the world. The firm is also no stranger to patent litigation: last year, it sued 19 companies over Bluetooth technology (many of the same defendence appear on its latest suit) and back in 2007 it sued 22 companies (again, many of the same ones) over Wi-Fi and DSL technology. WiLan’s actions have repeatedly led to it being characterized as a patent troll, and Chairman and CEO Jim Skippen essentially admits as much discussing the company’s most recent financial results, wherein the company saw revenues increase as a result of concluding four major lawsuits.

“I stated many times before, my belief that our past investment in litigation could generate a significant return in the future,” Skippen said.

WiLAN has executed licensing deals with the likes of Cisco, RIM, Samsung, and Nokia.