The Tech Herald

Australia's CSIRO wins big Wi-Fi patent battle

by Rich Bowden - Apr 23 2009, 08:18

Img: CSIRO headquarters,Canberra. Credit: Bidgee.

Australia's government science agency, the Commonwealth, Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), has claimed an important victory in the ongoing patent battle concerning the use of its wireless technology.

"CSIRO has negotiated [a] settlement with each of the 14 companies involved in four concurrent litigation cases. The commercial terms of the settlements with these companies will remain confidential," it said in a statement.

The CSIRO has struck gold with expected benefits of up to $1 billion after a court in Texas finalised the compensation when the remaining 14 companies utilising the technology in videogame consoles, wireless equipment, mobile phones and other technology, agreed to settle.

The CSIRO has previously settled payments with other users in out-of-court arrangements.

"We are very pleased with the outcome in financial terms," said deputy chief executive of operations Mike Whelan about the case, of which news only filtered through today.

"In aggregate, it will present the largest amount from IP [intellectual property] that this organisation has ever earned," he added.

The companies CSIRO took to the Texas court include some of the giants of the technology industry, including Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Dell, Toshiba, ASUS, Microsoft and Nintendo, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. Some of the companies agreed to settle before the judgement was handed down.

According to Mr Whelan, the payments include one-off compensation payments, agreements to pay ongoing royalties, and a combination of the two, reported the Herald.

"We are going to reinvest the proceeds into further research," he said.

Alex Zelinksy, the CSIRO's group executive of information and communication sciences and technology, said he was delighted with the outcome.

"This is a huge result for Australia as Australian property rights have been protected," he said. "I have enormous respect for the US system of IP protection; we are a foreign entity claiming infringement of property yet they have respected our claim."

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