Wireless 802.11N standard finally ratified

Soon we should see no more “Draft N” wireless devices as the final spec has finally been approved.

I wonder what happened to those CSIRO patents that were blocking the finalisation? Did CSIRO relinquish them, or come to some sort of deal? Was it dropped entirely?

8 Responses to “Wireless 802.11N standard finally ratified”


  • The IEEE standards development process allows patent owners to lodge a statement that they will be offering Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory (RAND) terms. CSIRO has done this for 802.11 (and in particular for 11g and 11n).

    CSIRO want US$5 per item using the patent, meeting the RAND requirement.

    However, that is a lot of money and some parties have chosen to contest the patent rather than pay the license.

    CSIRO have prevailed in the litigation to date. Mainly because CSIRO did invent the multi-path reception technology — before it there was nothing like it.

    Many people see the CSIRO litigation as a measure of the patent system. In contrast to most patents, the CSIRO patent is a solid patent over a new field. If CSIRO can’t prevail then the patent system is broken for the very people it is designed to benefit. Since the patent system is broken for everyone else, if CSIRO don’t prevail it raises the questions of why have patents at all.

  • Thanks for the comment Glen. It’s good to see true innovation being rewarded! :-)

    -c

  • With a tip of the hat to Glen’s knowledgeable comment, I’ll just add that my remote and shallow understanding is that CSIRO had been given the green light to expect quite a lot of cash from companies implementing the 802.11N spec.

    Is that still unrealised?

  • Good question.. Wikipedia offers the following:

    CSIRO Patent Issues

    The Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) holds the patent to a component of the 802.11n standard. This component is also part of 802.11a and 802.11g. The IEEE requested from the CSIRO a Letter of Assurance (LoA) that no lawsuits would be filed for anyone implementing the standard. In September 2007, CSIRO responded that they would not be able to comply with this request since litigation was involved.

    In April 2009, it was revealed that CSIRO reached a settlement with 14 companies, including Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Dell, Toshiba, ASUS, Microsoft, and Nintendo, on the condition that CSIRO did not broadcast the resolution.

  • Looking at my MythTV logs there was an item on this weeks Catalyst about CSIRO and WiFi, but I’ve not watched the programme yet (and it’s too late now!).

  • It might not be too late, the current episode on iView is episode 28 from series 10 on from 2nd October (last week) and about Prostate Cancer..

    Maybe, just maybe, this week’s episode will come on in 5 days time after this one? :-)

    -c

  • Indeed, I can confirm via their website, that the episode directly following the prostate cancer one is the CSIRO one. So hopefully it will be on iView next week, however there is a 12 minute video on the website already.

    -c

  • Oh I’ve got it recorded already thanks to MythTV, just haven’t had a chance to watch it yet. :-)

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