Wi-LAN and Broadcom to settle patent lawsuits

(Reuters) - Patent licensing firm Wi-LAN Inc said it would settle its patent litigations with U.S. chipmaker Broadcom Corp for an undisclosed amount.

The agreement, which is to be finalized in the next few weeks, calls for Broadcom to take a multi-year license for Wi-LAN’s patent portfolio.

Broadcom’s deal follows Intel Corp’s settlement on January 14 and Atheros Communications Inc’s on January 19 for litigations covering Wi-LAN’s patents in WiFi, CDMA, bluetooth and DSL technologies.

Ottawa-based Wi-LAN filed two separate lawsuits, dubbed the laptop and the router cases, in October 2007 against 22 companies for infringement of its wireless and internet patents. The trial is set to begin on February 3.

Alexander Poltorak, chief executive of General Patent Corp, a patent advisory firm, predicts more settlements in the next few days and before the trial begins.

“Typically, the case is settled on the court steps,” Poltorak said, adding that defendants usually settle these disputes through license negotiations rather than roll the dice and go to court.

Wi-LAN had also filed a lawsuit against Motorola, Research in Motion and UTStarcom over its bluetooth patents. Research in Motion and UTStarcom settled the cases last year.

Wi-LAN shares rose over 10 percent on Friday after the deal with Intel, but sharply reversed course on news of a discounted bought deal on Wednesday.

Shares of Wi-LAN, which fell to C$6.57 on Wednesday, fell a further 10 percent on Thursday to C$5.92 on the Toronto Stock Exchange, which shed 116.11 points by mid-afternoon.

Broadcom’s shares were down 3 percent at $45.07 in afternoon trade on Nasdaq.

Reporting by Abhiram Nandakumar in Bangalore; Editing by Anne Pallivathuckal, Maju Samuel