Wi-LAN Sues RIM: Two Canadian Firms Duke Out Patent Fight… In East Texas, Of Course
from the ah,-east-texas dept
Turns out that Canadian patent holders love East Texas just as much as American companies. The news today covers how Canadian wireless patent holder Wi-LAN has now sued RIM in East Texas, concerning patents on mobile handheld devices. RIM is also a Canadian company (and also heavily involved in patent disputes). Isn’t it great to see two Canadian firms choosing East Texas as the best place to fight over patents?
Wi-LAN is a company that we’ve discussed in the past. It worked on some technologies for wireless networks, but was unable to successfully market products commercially. In other words, it failed in the market. So, instead, it started focusing on aggressively enforcing its patent portfolio, suing a ton of companies who did anything wirelessly. As with so many public companies that turn into patent hoarders these days, it also has a very vocal and active set of day traders who will defend it to no end (see the comments on that link above).
RIM, of course, is also a well known company that we’ve written about many times. The maker of the super popular Blackberry wireless device, it became an aggressive filer of patent infringement lawsuits. That, in turn, led some patent holders from a non-practicing entity called NTP to sue RIM over some other patents — eventually leading to a $612.5 million payout by RIM (despite the fact that NTP’s patents were found to be invalid).
This latest case seems like it ties together so many different stories. You’ve got a failed business trying to use its patents to hold back the company that won; it’s got Wi-LAN who has been aggressively trying to tax just about every wireless innovation with its patents; it’s got RIM, who has been on both sides of a ton of questionable patent lawsuits; and it all takes place in East Texas. Who could ask for anything more?