In less than a week, the Canadian patent licensing company Wi-LAN is scheduled to go to trial in Marshall, Texas, federal district court, asserting claims that pretty much the entire laptop and DSL industries infringe its wireless patents. But at the rate defendants are settling, there may not be anything left for jurors to decide.
In separate October 2007 suits targeting chipmakers and computer makers, Wi-LAN and its lawyers at McKool Smith accused Acer, Apple, Atheros, Broadcom, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, and 16 other companies of infringing its patents covering wireless, DSL, and bluetooth technology. On Dec. 30, Marshall federal district court judge T. John Ward issued a key claim construction ruling that Wi-Lan immediately trumpeted in a press release announcing the broadening the construction of a key claim in one of the company's patents. "The ruling resolves a key issue in Wi-LAN's favor that was the subject of current summary judgment motions by the defendants," the press release states.