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If we buy and use Bluetooth radios / modules in our products (such as those manufactured by BlueGiga or TI, for example) how - if at all - are we indemnified against infringements allegations by companies claiming to own patents that are "relied upon in the Bluetooth standard"?

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I would not count on that. You could argue that your supplier would be required to pay or else they would be selling an infringing product, but if the patent is in the US, and they sell it in asia, they would have no problem not paying. If the supplier licensed the patent I would expect they will be prepared to tell you. –  jdv-Jan de Vaan Nov 22 '13 at 19:00
    
I don't know if you are indemnified, but if someone says you are... Get the indemnification in writing from the supplier or manufacturer. Sales guys will tell you anything for a sale (been there, done that, had hours of my time wasted in a lawsuit). –  jww Dec 8 '13 at 12:56

1 Answer 1

A full answer to the particular case will likely require a contract lawyer.

In general, there is an implied warranty under UCC §2-312:

Unless otherwise agreed* a seller that is a merchant regularly dealing in goods of the kind warrants that the goods shall be delivered free of the rightful claim of any third person by way of infringement or the like.

However, a buyer that furnishes specifications to the seller must hold the seller harmless against any such claim that arises out of compliance with the specifications.

* In many cases, there will be a specific Intellectual Property Indemnification clause in the terms of sale contract which can change the rights and liabilities of each party significantly.

In addition, in this particular case, any company incorporating Bluetooth wireless technology into products, using the technology to offer goods and services or simply rebranding a product with Bluetooth technology, must become a member of the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG). The Bluetooth SIG is the organisation that oversees development of Bluetooth standards and the licensing of Bluetooth technologies and trademarks. Part of the membership agreement is a Bluetooth Patent/Copyright License agreement, which contains a clause covering the case when one member files suit against another member for patent infringement.

Sources:

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