|Australias scientific research agency,the CSIRO,has won a crucial multimillion-dollar victory in its protracted international legal battle with the worlds technology giants over royalties for its wi-fi technology.
Computer maker Hewlett-Packard has agreed to a confidential settlement with the agency rather than continuing a four-year-old court case against the CSIRO,which contends its patented technology behind wireless computer networks iss potentially worht billions of dollars in royalties.
"I can confirm the settlement has been reached with Hewlett-Packard and we have no further comment because of confidentiality and ongoing litigation,"CSIRO spokesman Huw Morgan said yesterday.
While the CSIRO would not reveal how much the settlement was worth,it is expected to boost substantially te organizations intellectual property revenue,which reached $81.7 million in 2007-08.
The agency is pursuing legal action in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas against 13 other international technology companies including Intel,Dell.Toshiba,Netgear,Belkin,SMC,D-LINK,ASUS,Accton,3Com,Buffalo Technology,Microsoft and Nintendo.
Hewlett-Packards settlement,which covers any past and future royalties that might have been due to CSIRO,is expected to build pressure on the other companies to settle out of court.
The legal costs for the CSIRO are conservatively expected to exceed hundreds of thousands of dollars,but there are high expectations of the long-term rewards to the CSIRO's bottom line.
"If successful[in the court cases],CSIRO would earn significant revenue from royalty payments which would exceed the associated legal costs over time,"the federal governments2008-09 budget papers said."At this stage,the revenue and costs are considered unquantifiable,"they said.
The CSIRO recovered from a $20.8 million dollar deficit in 2004-05,to record a $47.7 million dollar surplus in 2007-08.