Wi-Fi network company Bandspeed, Inc. has filed a patent infringement suit against Sony Electronics Inc., Nintendo of America, Inc. and Apple, Inc.
In the suit, Bandspeed alleges that the Sony PS3, Nintendo Wii and Apple iPhone 3G all infringe upon two of Bandspeed’s patents. The patents are U.S. Patent No. 7,027,418 (entitled “Approach for Selecting Communications Channels Based on Performance”) and 7,570,614 (entitled “Approach for Managing Communications Channels Based on Performance”), and they appear to be generally related to managing wireless communication channels using frequency hopping, so the suit is likely to target the wireless network functionality of the accused products – here’s a sample claim from the ‘418 patent:
1. A method for selecting communications channels for a communications system,
the method comprising the computer-implemented steps of: selecting, based upon performance of a plurality of communications channels at a first time and channel selection criteria, a first set of two or more communications channels from the plurality of communications channels; selecting, based upon performance of the plurality of communications channels at a second time that is later than the first time and the channel selection criteria, a second set of two or more communications channels from the plurality of communications channels; wherein the communications system is a frequency hopping communications system and the plurality of communications channels correspond to a set of frequencies to be used based on a hopping sequence according to a frequency hopping protocol; and wherein at each hop in the hopping sequence, only one communications channel is used for communications between a pair of participants.
We’ll keep you posted as we learn more. The suit is Bandspeed, Inc. v. Sony Electronics Inc. et al., No. 09-593 (W.D.Tx filed Aug. 7, 2009).