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Judge issues order in WiLAN's patent lawsuit

The judge hearing the patent infringement lawsuit filed by WiLAN against Intel, HP, Apple, and other tech giants issues a key pretrial order.

The patent infringement lawsuit filed by WiLAN against Intel, HP, and other heavy hitters in the tech industry has entered a new stage.

Yesterday, Judge T. John Ward of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas issued a 55-page order that defines the terms used in a patent claim when those meanings are disputed by the parties.

In this case, the order (PDF) may have given WiLAN an edge because the company announced that it is pleased with the decision and said it believes it can now demonstrate that many of the defendants' Bluetooth, WiMax, and DSL products violated its own patents.

Ottawa-based WiLAN, which patents wireless products, filed a lawsuit in April against 18 of the tech industry's biggest players, including Intel, Hewlett-Packard, Broadcom, Dell, and Apple.

The suit alleges that the companies violated WiLAN patents for wireless and telecommunications technologies, include Patent Nos. 5,956,323 and 6,549,759.

The trial is set for January 4.