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Apple Faces Another Patent Lawsuit as it Beefs Up Litigation Team

Patent holding company Wi-LAN today announced that it has filed suit against Apple and more than two dozen other companies, claiming infringement of one of its patents related to Bluetooth technology.

In its filing, WiLAN claims that these companies have infringed and continue to infringe WiLAN's U.S. Patent No. 5,515,369 by making and/or selling various products enabled with Bluetooth technology including cellular handsets and personal notebook computers.

Wi-LAN is regarded in the industry as a patent troll, a former manufacturing company that has given up on producing devices to focus on extracting licensing fees and filing lawsuits related to its intellectual property. Wi-LAN's suit was filed in the Marshall Division of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, a court popular in patent litigation for its willingness to move quickly and its typically plantiff-friendly judgments.

Meanwhile, 9 to 5 Mac notes that Apple has hired former Chief Intellectual Property Counsel for Sun Microsystems Noreen Krall to a Senior Director position overseeing Intellectual Property and Litigation.

Apple is currently embroiled in legal battles with Nokia and Kodak over intellectual property issues, and recently went on the offensive against Android handset maker HTC, so it is certainly a busy time for Apple on the patent front.