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Buffalo Licenses WiLAN Wireless Technologies

12/15/09 - Wi-LAN Inc. announced that WiLAN has settled all patent litigation with Buffalo Technology (USA) Inc. and Melco Holdings, Inc. Under the settlement, Buffalo has signed a running royalty license to certain WiLAN wireless technologies. Other terms of the agreement are confidential.

"We are pleased that we have been able to settle our litigation with Buffalo on amicable terms and that Buffalo has signed a long-term running royalty agreement," said Jim Skippen, Chairman & CEO. "Our preference is always to negotiate reasonable license agreements, but we are fully prepared to defend our intellectual property in court if that is necessary."

Buffalo is a leading worldwide provider of innovative network solutions for the home and business - from wireless networking and storage to memory and multimedia devices. Since 1975, Buffalo has proven its commitment to delivering innovative solutions that have put the company at the forefront of infrastructure technology. Buffalo's strong international industry alliances with companies including Intel, Broadcom, Agere and Microsoft enables Buffalo to lead the industry in the development of the latest technologies into practical, easy to use tools for business and the home.

On October 31, 2007, WiLAN initiated litigation in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas ("EDTX") against 22 major companies, including major laptop computer and router suppliers, alleging infringement of certain patents owned by WiLAN including WiLAN's U.S. Patent Nos. 5,282,222 (the "222 patent") and RE37,802 (the "802 patent"). To date, settlements have been reached with five of the parties named in the initial Complaint: Best Buy Co. Inc., Circuit City Stores, Inc., Texas Instruments Incorporated, Infineon Technologies AG and now Buffalo.

Since the early 1990s, WiLAN has invested millions of dollars in the development and commercialization of technologies, including Wideband Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing ("W-OFDM") and Multicode Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum ("MC-DSSS"), that have helped make advanced wireless data communications a reality. For well over a decade, WiLAN manufactured and sold wireless equipment that proved the cost and performance benefits of W-OFDM and MC-DSSS.

One such product, the HOPPER DS, a 19 kilobit/second wireless modem that had a range of 10 kilometers, was commercially launched in 1994. Believing that W-OFDM was the best solution for low-cost, high-speed wireless local area networks, WiLAN and the broader wireless industry supported the specification of W-OFDM in the IEEE 802.11a Wireless Local Area Network ("WLAN") standard.

Lobbying efforts by WiLAN resulted in the Federal Communications Commission certifying the use of W-OFDM in the unlicensed 2.4GHz frequency band. This paved the way for the IEEE 802.11g and 802.11n WLAN standards and a multi-billion dollar market for low-cost, high-speed Wi-Fi products, all driven by WiLAN's W-OFDM technology. WiLAN's W-OFDM and MC-DSSS technologies are covered by the 222 and 802 patents, respectively. Both patents are at issue in the laptop and router case currently underway in EDTX.

Over 85 companies, including Cisco, RIM, Nokia, Panasonic, Samsung, Fujitsu, ASUS, Infineon and Buffalo, have negotiated license agreements to certain or all of the patents at issue in WiLAN's EDTX litigations.

By Robert Hoskins

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