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How The Aussie Government Invented WiFi and Sued its Way to $430 Million

April 5, 2012 by in News

Defense lawyers have been able to point to some serious flaws with CSIRO’s version of history, however. For starters, the whole industry was already working towards better wireless networks. In 1985, the US government opened up a wide array of the wireless spectrum for use without a license. Lots of companies were working towards building the best devices to do so.

All of the elements of the “unique combination” CSIRO proffered in court as a breakthrough weren’t merely old by tech standards, they were decades old. “Multicarrier modulation,” used in WiFi as OFDM, was described as early as the 1950s. Papers had been published on interleaving in the 1960s. Forward error correction, Intel’s lawyer told the Texas jury, “was used when NASA sent the Mariner mission to Mars in 1968.” Harris Semiconductor had actual working products incorporating these techniques by the 1980s and the company was selling its modems to the US military. The lead defense attorney for Intel, Robert Van Nest, even showed one of those Harris modems to the Texas jury during the 2009 case. Read more