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.