Another day, another patent suit is hitting the courts. Today the Canada-based patent holder WiLAN has filed a suit in a U.S. court against a host of big-name tech companies, including Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) and HTC, alleging patent infringements related to WiLAN patents in WiFi, LTE, CDMA and HSPA technologies.
This represents a significant thickening of the patent plot: WiLAN is also in the process of trying to buy MOSAID, which was in the news yesterday for winning the right to enforce 2,000 Nokia patents.
In its statement on the legal action, WiLAN notes that the full list of defendants in the suit filed today includes Apple, Inc., Alcatel-Lucent USA Inc., Dell Inc., Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ) Company, HTC America, Inc., Kyocera International, Inc., Kyocera Communications, Inc., Novatel Wireless, Inc., and Sierra Wireless America, Inc.
The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, alleges that the companies have infringed on U.S. Patent No. RE37,802 (“the ‘802’ Patent”) related to CDMA and HSPA and U.S. Patent No. 5,282,222 (“the ‘222’ Patent”) related to Wi-Fi and LTE.
WiLAN already has a history in patent suits: last November it went for Comcast (NSDQ: CMCSA), Time Warner (NYSE: TWX) and others in a suit over cable modems; and before that it sued practically the whole of the mobile phone and laptop making industries in a Bluetooth patent suit.
Not many details available yet on this latest action, or for responses from the defendants. We will update as we learn more.
Meanwhile, WiLAN is not the only patent company active in Canada right now: MOSAID, which yesterday announced its intention to take over the enforcement of 2,000 Nokia (NYSE: NOK) patents, is also becoming an increasingly prevalent player. The two may end up joining forces: WiLAN is now involved in a bid to take over MOSAID for 480 million Canadian dollars.
Could this be the start of a new Intellectual Ventures? Not yet, patent expert Florian Meuller says. “It would take many Canadian [non-practicing entities] to reach even 10 percent the size of Intellectual Ventures alone,” he told mocoNews in response to the question.