HP settles with CSIRO

HP settles with CSIRO

Summary: Hewlett Packard has settled with Australian peak research body Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) over its US wireless patent.


Hewlett Packard has settled with Australian peak research body Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) over its US wireless patent.

"CSIRO can confirm that a settlement has been reached with Hewlett Packard company in relation to the wireless patent case," spokesperson Huw Morgan told ZDNet.com.au.

The organisation was restrained from saying anything further due to confidentiality arrangements and the ongoing litigation with 13 remaining computer and networking companies. HP's settlement figure was undisclosed.

The CSIRO first applied for the US patent in 1993 and was awarded it in 1996 under US patent 5,487,069. However, troubles began following Cisco Systems' acquisition of Radiata from Macquarie University, which it had carried out for the purpose of commercialising CSIRO's technology, which forms a key component of commonly used Wi-Fi products.

CSIRO's attempts to engage hardware manufacturers to pay licence fees for the use of its technology were rebuffed by major hardware and networking manufacturers, and in 2005 the CSIRO launched an initial case against Buffalo Technologies for violating its patent.

Three months later industry heavyweights such as Apple, Dell, Intel, Microsoft, HP and Netgear launched two separate lawsuits to have the patent overturned.

However, the tables were turned in 2006 after the Eastern District of Texas Court upheld its patent in the case against Buffalo Technologies — a decision that came shortly before it counter-sued the tech giants.

CSIRO in 2007 also refused to offer IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) members an amnesty on the use of its technology in next generation Wi-Fi products that were based on the draft 802.11n standard.

CSIRO's battle to have its patent acknowledged continues with litigation against Intel, Dell, Toshiba, ASUS, Netgear, D-Link, Belkin, SMC, Acton, 3COM, Buffalo, Microsoft, Nintendo. Apple pulled out of litigation some years ago, according to CSIRO's Morgan.

Topics: Dell, Cisco, Emerging Tech, Hewlett-Packard, Networking

Liam Tung

About Liam Tung

Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, security and telecommunications journalist with ZDNet Australia. These days Liam is a full time freelance technology journalist who writes for several publications.

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  • The little engine that could.........

    It's wonderful to see such a poorly funded public body stand up for its self among the big boys!!!
    The precedent has been set, sick 'em boys!!!

    Makes you wonder though how many others lose out, simply because they can't afford to defend what is rightly theirs.
  • Re: The little engine that could.........

    absolutely! Its good to see that the big tech companies aren't getting away with using IP that isn't theirs unfairly. I wish CSIRO all the best fighting the other 13 companies
  • Agreed

    Given how these large multinationals go after alleged infringments of their patents/copyright, it's good to see them dragged back to the reality that they also have to pay for licences for others technologies, not just make others pay for theirs.
  • Level Playing Field

    Now that the Americans can no longer steal others patents with impunity I guess their economy will really start going downhill
  • Americans Ignoring Patents

    The Americans have been ignoring patents since they were founded. Its lucky the CSIRO logged an American patent otherwise they would not have cared at all.

    Americans earned the nickname Yankees from the Dutch word Jankee that means pirate because they were stealing patents from Europe and producing cheap knockoffs.

    I hope the CSIRO succeeds, but keeps the licensing down to a few dollars a card. No point driving the cost of networking equipment up.