US research firm sues three cell phone makers over Bluetooth

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US research firm sues three cell phone makers over Bluetooth

Washington (DC) – Nokia, Samsung, and Panasonic are under litigation by the Washington Research Foundation (WRF) as a result of alleged of patent infringement in the use of wireless Bluetooth technology.

According to court papers, a WRF scientist originally patented the idea of a “simplified high frequency broadband tuner and tuning method” in 1999, just when Bluetooth was showing first signs of becoming a wireless standard. WRF alleges that, because the three electronics companies have been using that technology in their phones without paying royalties, it is entitled to a substantial civil award.

Other patent owners have attempted to sue users of Bluetooth technology, claiming they owned the rights to at least part of the wireless standard, but none succeeded in court.

Although the suit is seeking damages from just three companies, use of Bluetooth is far more widespread, as it has penetrated the markets of PDAs, laptops, and even video game players. Any court ruling that would grant the research institute any ownership of the wireless technology would have a massive impact throughout the world of mobile electronics.

Each of the three companies has yet to make an official statement about the lawsuit, which is currently only seeking damages in the US.