updated 03:35 pm EDT, Thu March 17, 2011
Mosaid sues Dell, RIM, many over Wi-Fi patents
Mosaid late Wednesday sued as many technology firms as possible in hopes of profiting off the success of Wi-Fi. The Ottawa-based company's complaint targeted major device makers such as ASUS, Canon, Dell, Intel, and RIM as well as those building chipsets, such as Atheros and Marvell, for allegedly infringing six patents covering Wi-Fi, including network finding and the orthogonal multiplexing used for the faster speeds in the newer 802.11n spec. CEO John Lindgren insisted that "all" devices using Wi-Fi were dependent on the patents and had to pay royalties.
The lawsuit asks all the companies to pay damages. It would further ban them from selling virtually any of the chipsets, notebooks, and phones they make or else would require a mandatory royalty from them to keep using what's allegedly Mosaid's technology.
Unlike its fellow litigious Ottawa firm WiLAN, Mosaid makes its own products and is currently focusing on flash memory module technology. In recent years, however, it has focused increasingly on its patent portfolio and has sued heavyweight firms such as Cisco and IBM while also pressing for deals with LG, Samsung, Sony and other large companies. Its lawsuit was filed in the Marshall Division of the Eastern District of Texas, a region with courts known to often side with the plaintiff in a patent lawsuit.
The lawsuit could have deep ramifications for most of the technology industry, including companies like Apple, HTC, and others that use Wi-Fi but haven't been sued. Price increases in electronics often come from mounting royalty rates as both legitimate and patent troll companies claim to own technology that they have usually ignored for years.