Wi-Lan Just Keeps On Suing; Says Cable Modems Infringe Its Patents Too

from the does-any-networking-equipment-not-infringe? dept

Wi-Lan really is the patent troll that just keeps on suing. You may recall that the company -- which once was an operating company that totally failed in the market, because it was unable to execute -- has since become one of the nastier patent trolls out there, suing everyone it possibly can. Years back, it claimed that it had patents that covered the basics behind WiFi. After that, it claimed patents on mobile broadband offerings, like WiMax. It's also sued over patents on mobile devices and near-field Bluetooth technology.

And it's not stopping there. Its latest move is to sue a bunch of cable firms for violating patents with their cable modems. Basically, if you offer any kind of networking, expect to have to pay some sort of tax to this company that couldn't hack it in the marketplace. Is that how the patent system was supposed to work?
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: cable modems, networking, patents
Companies: wi-lan

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. identicon
    MrWilson, 2 Dec 2010 @ 10:04am

    Re: Re: Re: Be careful with wording, punk

    Respectability is a subjective matter.

    In my opinion, if an individual or company is suing others, "in a manner considered unduly aggressive or opportunistic...with no intention to manufacture or market the patented invention," then they are not respectable.

    Ironically, Thomas Edison isn't respected by a lot of people and has been retroactively labeled a patent troll by some. While I think he was opportunistic and underhanded in his legal dealings and patent filings, he did actually set up an electric power plant, so arguably, he did execute marketable inventions to some extent.

    "Look at the back of your IPhone (if you can afford one)"

    Oh, right. I'm probably just a poor schmuck who can't afford an iPhone because you perceive that I'm insulting people to whom I'm not even referring. That's logical, just like threats of physical violence on the internet...

    I actually have a Droid instead because I'm not a Mac fanboy, but also, I can't abide Apple's consumer-unfriendly and litigious approach to business or their totalitarian approach to the user experience.

    Apple does produce products, so they aren't necessarily a patent troll, but they're almost worse because they're anti-competitive, litigious, prone to spreading of FUD about rivals, and apparently their every marketing decision hinges on the whims of an out-of-touch megalomaniac.

Add Your Comment

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

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Essential Reading
Techdirt Insider Chat
Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.