from the ah,-east-texas dept
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?