8 thoughts on “Wireless 802.11N standard finally ratified

  1. Glen Turner

    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.

  2. Mike Carden

    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?

  3. Chris

    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.

  4. Chris Samuel

    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!).

  5. Chris Post author

    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.


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