News
News
1/8/2007
10:35 AM
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Brief: The Black Patent Cloud Over Bluetooth

A foundation backing a university researcher claims it violates patented technology

Bluetooth is a tech standard that's working, with fierce competitors rallying to it for short-range wireless connections such as cell phones to headsets. So of course someone wants to make them pay for it.

The Washington Research Foundation, founded to help the state's universities commercialize research, last week sued Nokia, Panasonic, and Samsung in a U.S. District Court, saying the phone makers' use of Bluetooth violates a patent for a radio frequency receiver technology awarded to a University of Washington scientist. Ericsson, IBM, Intel, Nokia, and Toshiba founded a group in 1998 to manage the Bluetooth standard, aiming for a royalty-free standard to allow short-range transmission of digital voice and data.

If Bluetooth users are forced to pay royalties, they could be significant, says Bruce Sunstein, a patent lawyer with Bromberg & Sunstein, because the patent "is not just a pie in the sky and has merit." One thing we learned from watching the four-year Research In Motion-NTP patent case over wireless e-mail technology is that patent lawsuits drag on. Sunstein predicts at least three years to get it settled--potentially casting a dark cloud over Bluetooth all the while.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
IT's Reputation: What the Data Says
IT's Reputation: What the Data Says
InformationWeek's IT Perception Survey seeks to quantify how IT thinks it's doing versus how the business really views IT's performance in delivering services - and, more important, powering innovation. Our results suggest IT leaders should worry less about whether they're getting enough resources and more about the relationships they have with business unit peers.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest September 24, 2014
Start improving branch office support by tapping public and private cloud resources to boost performance, increase worker productivity, and cut costs.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.