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Ethernet patents claim smacked down by US judge

World+Dog's blue cables and springy plastic toggles safe from troll, for now

Ethernet Innovations' sue-the-world strategy is beginning to unravel, with a California judge invalidating two of its patents and ruling that another two, on which it had based its lawsuits, hadn't been infringed.

Companies who had decided to settle might be wishing they'd resisted, with Acer, Dell, HP and a bunch of other vendors eyeing off a bulk buy of some vintage French bubbles.

Ethernet Innovations inherited the patents from 3Com and claimed the defendants' silicon infringed four. That claim brought Chipzilla into the case, intervening on behalf of the defendants.

The four patents were US 5,732,094, 5,434,872, 5,307,459 and 5,299,313.

US District Judge Claudia Wilken of the Northern District of California (Oakland) ruled that all claims of the disputed patents have been resolved in favour of the defendants, who will be able to recover the costs of the suit.

Other defendants included Acer, Apple, Asus, Austek, Dell, Fujitsu, Gateway, Hewlett Packard, Sony, Nvidia, Netgear and AT&T. ®


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