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Wi-LAN sues Apple over Wi-Fi, HSPA wireless technology patents

Wi-LAN, a company that has a history of patent infringement suits aimed at technology companies, set its sights on Apple Friday with a new lawsuit related to wireless technology.

In addition to Apple, the complaint also includes Alcatel-Lucent, Dell, Hewlett Packard, HTC, Kyocera, Novatel, and Sierra Wireless. All of the companies are accused of violating two wireless patents.

The first, U.S. Patent No. RE 37,802, is entitled "Multicode direct sequence spread spectrum. It covers technology related to cellular wireless standards CDMA and HSPA.

The second patent included in the complaint is U.S. Patent No. 5,282,222, "Method and apparatus for multiple access between transcievers in wireless communications using OFDM spread spectrum." It is related to Wi-Fi and 4G long-term evolution technology.

The complaint was filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Tyler Division. Patent infringement lawsuits are frequently filed there in hopes of a favorable outcome for the plaintiff.

Wi-LAN has an established history of targeting technology companies in patent infringement lawsuits, including previous spats with Apple. In 2007, Wi-LAN sued Apple over the use of Wi-Fi, while again last year, Apple was listed among a host of defendants for alleged patent infringement related to Bluetooth technology.

Other companies previously sued by Wi-LAN, which was founded in 1992, include Acer, Comcast, Lenovo, Motorola, Sony, Time Warner and Toshiba, just to name a few. Previous complaints were also filed in the Eastern District of Texas.

Wi-LAN announced Friday that it will be represented by McKool Smith, which it called "a leading U.S. law firm specializing in intellectual property litigation." The same firm is already representing Wi-LAN in its other patent infringement cases in Texas.