|Wi-LAN Says BlackBerry Functions Violate Patents By Steven Melendez|
Law360, New York (January 20, 2012, 9:17 PM ET) -- Wi-LAN Inc. sued Research in Motion Ltd. in a Florida federal court Friday, alleging several models of RIM's BlackBerry phones infringe two of the company's patents.
One patent covers a frequency hopping system used by the phones in Bluetooth communications and the other covers the phones' character selection interface, according to the complaint.
BlackBerry users automatically invoke frequency hopping when they use the phones' Bluetooth feature, the suit alleges. When users press the "sym" key on BlackBerry Bold, Torch, Curve and Pearl models, the phones bring up a character selection interface that infringes U.S. Patent Number 6,232,969, Wi-LAN claims.
A representative for RIM could not be immediately reached for comment Friday.
Wi-LAN sued a number of major electronics makers in Texas federal court in 2010, alleging infringement of the frequency hopping patent, U.S. Patent Number 5,515,369, by their Bluetooth-compliant devices.
Among the defendants was Texas Instruments Inc., which, according to Friday's complaint, is one of RIM's suppliers. Texas Instruments exited that suit in July, after both parties agreed to dismiss the claims. Wi-LAN has resolved claims against a number of defendants in that suit.
RIM would have been aware of the frequency hopping patent following the litigation with Texas Instruments, the complaint alleges.
Wi-LAN is seeking an injunction barring further infringement, as well as treble damages.
Wi-LAN and RIM are both based in Canada. Wi-LAN's U.S. subsidiary, Florida-based Wi-LAN USA Inc., is also named as a plaintiff, and RIM's U.S. subsidiary, Texas-based Research in Motion Corp., is named as a defendant.
The patents-in-suit are U.S. Patent Numbers 5,515,369 and 6,232,969.
The plaintiffs are represented by Carlson & Lewittes PA and Carlson Caspers Vandenburgh & Lindquist PA.
Counsel information for the defendants was not immediately available Friday.
The case is Wi-LAN USA Inc. et al. v. Research in Motion Ltd. et al., case number 1:12-cv-20232, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.
--Additional reporting by Kaitlin Ugolik. Editing by Jocelyn Allison and Elizabeth Bowen.
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