Patent Problems Creep Into WiFi

from the uh-oh dept

For all the talk of how WiFi and WiMax are these wonderful open wireless standards, it seems the may have a bit of a patent problem. Last month, I wrote about the potential patent troubles for WiMax, after Wi-LAN, a company that claims to own patents on core technical issues related to WiMax convinced a WiMax equipment maker to pay up, rather than go through a costly legal battle. Now, realizing that WiMax is still a bit far away, someone has realized that their patents can apply to WiFi as well — an established market where companies may be willing to quickly pay up to get Wi-LAN off their backs. That seems to be about the only explanation for Wi-LAN’s decision to sue Cisco, along with all sorts of evil patent overlord quotes like: “It is our intent to collect, either directly or through component manufacturers, royalties from any company selling 802.11a, 802.11g, or WiMax-certified equipment.” It should be clear by now that these sorts of patent battles do more to slow down innovation than to enhance it. I explore that idea more thoroughly in my latest writeup for TheFeature about WiFi’s new patent problem. What it means right now, however, is that there are going to be a string of legal battles, and WiFi equipment will likely get more expensive.

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Patent Problems Creep Into WiFi”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...