A US research institution is suing Panasonic, Samsung and Nokia over the use of “unlicensed” Bluetooth short-range wireless technology in mobile phones and other gadgets.
The Bluetooth data transfer solution was originally developed by Ericsson, which has avoided the action brought by the Washington Research Foundation (WRF), which commercialises and protects research carried out at colleges and institutions in Washington state.
The WRF bases its legal claim on work carried out by former University of Washington student Edwin Suominen.
The WRF is seeking to prevent the three companies selling specific Bluetooth devices in the US and is pursuing damages for alleged intellectual property infringements.
Suominen handed over his radio frequency research to the university and is supporting the legal action. He stands to take a cut in any damages won by the WRF.
The WRF said it had resorted to legal action after failing to agree licensing terms for the RF technology with the three companies.
US chipmaker Broadcom has agreed to licence the technology from the WRF, stated the issued lawsuit.
The chips used by the three companies named in the legal action are made by British firm Cambridge Silicon Radio (CSR), but CSR is not named in the lawsuit.
The lawsuit covers the use of the technology in the US and does not affect devices sold elsewhere by the three companies.
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