CSIRO to settle over Wi-Fi dispute: report

Summary:The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) is reportedly in negotiations with US carriers AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon, which could see a dispute over the use of its coveted Wi-Fi patent settled out of court before it goes to trial.

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) is reportedly in negotiations with US carriers AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon, which could see a dispute over the use of its coveted Wi-Fi patent settled out of court before it goes to trial.

(International Wi-Fi Icon by Dana Spiegel, CC BY-SA 2.0)

The CSIRO initiated legal action against the three carriers in May 2010, alleging that the three have been infringing on its WLAN patent, which has been held since 1993.

The Australian reported today that the CSIRO's negotiations with the three carriers are nearing early settlement stage, according to sources within the scientific organisation.

If the parties settle, it would remove the need for a trial before a Texas court in April — a trial that is now two years in the making.

CSIRO wouldn't confirm the claims to ZDNet Australia, saying only that any negotiations and their outcomes are, at this stage, confidential.

"It would be premature to make any predictions about the trial," CSIRO said in its statement.

If the case did settle before it went to trial, it wouldn't be the first time. CSIRO has previously pursued large technology vendors for patent infringement. The vendors, including Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft and Dell, settled the dispute out of court.

Topics: Legal, Emerging Tech, Networking, Telcos, Wi-Fi

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A fresh recruit onto the tech journalism battlefield, Luke Hopewell is eager to see some action. After a tour of duty in the belly of the Telstra beast, he is keen to report big stories on the enterprise beat. Drawing on past experience in radio, print and magazine, he plans to ask all the tough questions you want answered.

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