Fujitsu et. al. v. Netgear (2007, USA)
Fujitsu Limited (Fujitsu), LG Electronics, Inc., and U.S. Philips Corp. sued Netgear, Inc. for infringing three different patents in the U.S. district court for the Western District of Wisconsin. . The plaintiffs asserted that more than 260 of Netgear's wireless internet products infringed three different patents.
At issue were United States Patents:
- No. 6,469,993 (the ‘993 patent) - a method for controlling the traffic load in a wireless communication system;
- No. 6,018,642 (the ‘642 patent) - a wireless communication system with intermittent power-on capabilities;
- No. 4,975,952 (the ‘952 patent) - a method for wireless communication of data in segments.
These patents are part of a patent pool controlled by Via Licensing.
Essentially, the plaintiffs argued that the '993 patent, the '642 patent and the '952 patent were "essential" to the practice of the 802.11 wireless communication standard. Under this theory, the plaintiffs contended, a product that complies with the 802.11 standard must necessarily infringe the patents.
In a first summary judgment order, Judge Barbara Crabb found that the asserted claims of the '993 patent and the '642 patent were not "essential" to the 802.11 Standard. The judge also found that one of the three asserted claims of the '952 patent was not essential.
In a second summary judgment order, the judge found that none of Netgear's products infringed the claims. With respect to the '952 patent, the judge found that the patent had expired before Netgear was on notice of its infringed. Since the claims were not infringed, the judge did not consider whether the patents were invalid.
Ex parte reexamination requests have been filed for the '952 patent and the '642 patent in the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
- '993 Patent entitled "Method for controlling traffic load in mobile communication system"
- '642 Patent entitled "Radio communications system, base station for radio communications system"
- '952 Patent entitled "Method of data communication"
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