Apple off the hook in WiLAN wireless patent lawsuit

Apple wins scuffle with WiLAN, a company that targeted the iPhone and Mac maker for allegedly infringing on its wireless technology.

Apple has been deemed to be a non-offender for infringing on a patent held by WiLAN, a company that holds various wireless patents and has successfully used them against some of technology's biggest companies.

An Eastern Texas District Court jury on Wednesday found that Apple did not infringe on one of those patents, and that two of the claims on said patent were invalid.

WiLAN originally sought some $248 million in damages from Apple, according to Bloomberg.

"WiLAN is disappointed with the jury's decision and is currently reviewing its options with trial counsel, McKool Smith," the company said in a statement. "WiLAN does not believe previous license agreements signed related to the patents are negatively impacted by this decision."

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

WiLAN sued Apple, Hewlett-Packard, Dell, and others in late 2011, accusing the companies of infringing on patent RE37,802 , which covers CMDA and HSPA wireless communication technologies. Also at play was a 1994 patent covering data exchange technology. Six of the companies named in the original suit, which also included Alcatel-Lucent, HTC, Novatel Wireless, and Sierra Wireless, all made licensing agreements with WiLAN, leaving Apple the sole defendant.

The lawsuit is just one of many from WiLAN, which has sued Apple in the past. Previous suits include one in 2007 that took aim at 22 companies over technology in DSL products, as well as another in early 2010 that targeted 18 tech companies over Bluetooth technology.

About the author

Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.


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