Sony, Nintendo and Apple have been sued by wireless technology company Bandspeed Inc. over allegations that the PlayStation 3, Wii and iPhone 3G violate two of the company’s patents.
Filed in the Western District Court of Texas, the suit claims that the wireless communications technology present in the companies’ hardware infringes upon two of its patents. The first patent describes a performance-based method of selecting wireless communication channels while the second relates to managing those channels, also on a performance-related basis. Both patents were filed in 2001.
Bandspeed, which describes itself as “the leader in next-generation Wi-Fi management,” is seeking damages as well as a permanent injunction against all three companies preventing them from continuing to violate its patents.
Sharp-eyed observers will notice something unusual about this case: The lawsuit is filed against Sony, Nintendo… and Apple. No mention of Microsoft anywhere. The absence of everyone’s favorite courtroom punching bag is a bit odd to say the least and since the question is bound to come up sooner or later – probably sooner – I’m going to put it out there right now: What do you think the odds are that this “Bandspeed” operation is just a front for the Redmond gang?
Okay, the odds aren’t very good. But it makes for an interesting, if somewhat paranoid, theory. Meanwhile, I expect this one, like so many others, to go away quietly with a nice, reasonably priced out-of-court settlement.