Wednesday, May 18, 2005

BLAME AUSTRALIA! (A.K.A. ATTACK OF THE BIG 5): Apple has joined Microsoft, Dell, Hewlett Packard, Intel and Netgear in a fight to break the U.S. patents on wireless technology held by Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), which is an arm of the Austrailian government. CSIRO received US Patent 5,487,069, which claimed wireless LAN technology in 1996. The application was filed in November 1993 and claims AU priority to 1992. It turns out that the features claimed in this patent have become standards on notebook computers and other devices. This means that any company creating and selling Wi-Fi devices, such as Apple's AirPort Extreme, must pay CSIRO royalties on the revenue.

In February, CSIRO initiated a court case against the Japanese company Buffalo Technology, which had stopped paying the licensing fees for the technology. Now Apple and the five other companies want a judge to rule that CSIRO's patent is invalid and that none of them are in violation of it.

Can YOU say "battle royale"? Get out your WWF masks for this one . . .

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