Setback For Australia In Battle Over WiFi Patent

Law360, New York (July 17, 2006, 12:00 AM EDT) -- An Australian agency’s failed attempts to license its WiFi patent in the United States has exempted it from legal protection normally afforded to foreign governments and freed a group of high-tech heavyweights to seek declaratory judgment, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled.

The ruling was a major setback for Australia’s national science agency—the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO)—which failed to convince the court that patent negotiations don't qualify as commercial activities.

In early 2003, the agency began a licensing campaign...
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