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WiLAN settles lawsuit with UTStarcom

In a court case targeting handset manufacturers, WiLAN settles its patent lawsuit with vendor UTStarcom, joining RIM as the other company that has settled out of court.

Wireless company WiLAN has settled with another company, UTStarcom, over a 2008 patent lawsuit launched against several handset makers.

The Ottawa-based WiLAN, which patents wireless products, announced the settlement Wednesday, though terms were kept confidential.

Filed by WiLAN in June 2008, the suit alleges that the companies named violated WiLAN's U.S. patent that covers a method for wireless transceivers, such as those used at cell towers, to exchange data with each other.

As of now, WiLAN has also settled with BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion, while LG Electronics, Motorola, and Personal Communications Devices, a unit that UTStarcom spun off in July 2008, remain defendants in the case.

"UTStarcom becomes the 11th handset maker and 99th company to reach an agreement with WiLAN, joining Research In Motion, Nokia, Samsung, and many others," Bill Middleton, WiLAN's senior vice president and general counsel, said in a statement. "We are very pleased that we have been able to resolve our dispute through negotiation rather through continued litigation."

WiLAN has kept the legal system busy with a series of patent lawsuits over the years. In 2002, the company sued Redline Communications over its use of a wireless networking technology. After that case settled out of court in 2004, WiLAN then sued Cisco Systems over a similar claim.

In 2007, WiLAN sued 22 different companies alleging that they had violated key patents for Wi-Fi and DSL technologies and then followed that up with the 2008 suit. The company filed its most recent lawsuit in April against Acer, Apple, Dell, Lenovo, Sony, and several other major players, claiming patent infringement over the use of Bluetooth technology in their PCs and mobile phones.