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Apple joins fight against US wireless patent

updated 03:15 pm EDT, Wed May 18, 2005

Wireless patent fight

Apple along with four other compuer companies are developed "groundbreaking technology in 1996 that allows computers to network with each other without cables. The technology is now built in to most laptop computers and manufacturers pay the CSIRO a licence fee to use it. CSIRO chief executive Dr. Geoff Garrett said the system made it possible to increase the speed of Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) by a factor of five."

According to the report, the CSIRO initiated legal action in the United States against Buffalo Technology, a Japanese-owned company, because Buffalo had unilaterally terminated negotiations for a license fee.

The CSIRO said that it collects royalties so that it can invest in further development and that it would fight the coalition of US companies trying to overturn the US patent. "As part of our business we create high quality intellectual property and we are prepared to defend it," Dr Garrett said. "We actively encourage the utilisation of the results of research in industry and communities, both nationally and globally, and any royalty income will be reinvested in further research."




by MacNN Staff

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  1. Sebastien

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Hmmmm...

    Funny how companies band together to fight patents only when it's in their own selfish interest.

  1. Deal

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    I wonder....

    Does anybody have a patent on water?

    There are some things that should not be patent-able. If their technology is the only way to do it, it shouldn't be patentable. If their technology is just one way to do it (even if it's the best) then the patent should hold.

    I'm really against pharmaceutical companies being able to patent sections of human DNA, just because they figured it out first!

    Hay, maybe we could patent gravity!!!

  1. JustinD

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    umm...

    "Does anybody have a patent on water? "

    I do. I'm currently working with my lawyers to collect a royalty from every human on earth. Also every sea creature once we figure out their economic transaction methods.

  1. beeble

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    802.11g

    Sounds like 802.11g came from the CSIRO, the people who figured out how to make bald heads start to grow hair again (actually a spin off from trying to figure out how to make wool fall out of sheep so they don't have to be shorn). They invent stuff in many different fields so if they're patent is right (just because it was granted doesn't make it right anymore) then the royalties will be put back into research. They run at a loss anyway and are subsidised by the Australian tax payer. Just remember that the next time you see Rogaine on a store shelf.

  1. hughbp

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    How Come?

    OK - how come it took them so long to lodge a challenge when it seems the patent was first scoped in November 1992, was lodged with the US Patent office in November 1993, and was granted apparently unchallenged in 1996?

    Have these companies, Apple included, just suddenly realised it affects them?

  1. revco

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Oh, please!!

    Apple requires other companies to pay a royalty/fee when they include FireWire in their products. So I would expect Apple (and others) to cough up the licensing fees for using the CSRIO's technology. Maybe they could do a patent swap. What does Dell, HP, Intel, Netgear, and Apple have that the CSIRO could use?

  1. LouZer

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Re: I wonder

    There are some things that should not be patent-able. If their technology is the only way to do it, it shouldn't be patentable. If their technology is just one way to do it (even if it's the best) then the patent should hold.

    That's just stupid. Where would the impetus for innovation be if not for the fact you could get a patent? Why would anyone spend money to develop something new (as opposed to just a different way) if they wouldn't be able to get a patent, thus securing their ability to make money on their own ideas? Based on your brilliant concept, the first person who develops a new technology wouldn't be able to patent it, but then let in all the copy-cats so they can make money, AND get patents.

    And what do you mean "even if its the best". Like it would be "Hey, everyone, you all can patent your hard-drive based music players. Except Apple, because yours is the best, so everyone can copy yours.

    Well, I'll be keeping my plans for the flying car under wraps now, waiting for someone else to come out with it first so I can then patent my idea.

    Oh, and you can't patent gravity or water, as its been around for more than 20 years there's prior art to indicate you didn't invent it.

  1. devilla101

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Go CSIRO!!

    I'm all the way behind CSIRO. This organisation have contributed to so many ground breaking discoveries in all facets of med and tech fields. I agree with the first posts. Some companies are so selfish. If they don't like paying to use a technology then invent them yourselves or take them out of your product. Good luck explaining to your customers why the products wifi access is slower than other competitors. "Ummm well sir its because as a company we're too cheap to pay licensing fee for the company responsible in creating the technology. So are you interested in purchasing or what?

  1. Sebastien

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Re: I wonder

    "Oh, and you can't patent gravity or water, as its been around for more than 20 years there's prior art to indicate you didn't invent it."

    That's never stopped the monkeys at the PTO from rubber-stamping "Approved" on patent applications.

    As long as they got paid the application fee of course.

  1. simonmartin

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    DNA etc.

    Off the topic of the wireless thing...

    To be able to patent a *naturally occurring* substance, like DNA, seems obsurd to me.

    Who has a patent on Iron? Gold? Diamonds?

    A process, yes, but a naturally occurring thing, no.

    Simon

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