Job cuts at the CSIRO would not normally make their way into a Computer Technology blog but part of the cuts introduced this week involved the sacking of CSIRO lawyers whose job it was to protect and enforce CSIRO patents.
What is not generally known is that for the past 16 years or so every wilress network device purchased by consumers meant some royalty money made their way into CSIRO pockets. In fact it is estimated that some 5 billion devices will use CSIRO’s patented technolgy by the end of 2013 This has generated some 432 million dollars from the likes of Microsoft , HP and Lenovo and major computer vendors.
The technolgies involved in wireless computer networks were taken from techniques used in Radio Astronomy. In 1992 the CSIRO patented a solution to the “multipath signal problem” of radio wave signals bouncing off surfaces — such as walls, furniture and people — in many directions.
So why are job cuts of legal staff at the CSIRO important? The WLAN [Wi-Fi] litigation project iwhich genereated these incones has more time to run althoguh the patent for these technolgies expired on November in 2013.
In addition there are hundreds of patents that the CSIRO owns which require the legal defence of the intellectual property .