MANHASSET, N.Y. In what may be a portent of future legal conflicts, Wi-LAN Inc. and Redline Communications said they have settled a patent dispute covering technology used in wireless broadband equipment.
The companies said Redline agreed to pay Wi-LAN royalties for wireless broadband technology that uses advanced orthogonal frequency multiplexing. Wi-LAN has patents on such technology in both Canada and the U.S. for the technology, which will be part of wireless broadband systems based on 802.16 technology, also known as WiMAX.
While Wi-LAN expressed satisfaction about the settlement, Redline was less pleased.
"We strongly believe that we do not infringe on their patents," said Majed Sifri, Redline's president and CEO. "However, it would have been too much of a distraction to challenge their claims as the royalty represents a minor portion of the overall Redline product cost. It made more sense to quickly reach an agreement so we could continue to focus on our core business."
The legal action was filed in Canadian courts in July, 2002. Earlier this week, however, Wi-LAN announced it acquired 17 additional WiMAX-related patents and patent applications in the U.S. The company said the patents relate to products that implement the Media Access Control layer in Wi-MAX-certified systems.
The company said it would seek royalties on those patents as well as on patents that it previously held that relate to WiMAX.
"Our intention is to now move ahead with negotiating further licensing agreements for our intellectual property," said Hatim Zaghloul, Wi-LAN's executive chairman.