It seems that almost all major networking equipment manufacturers are sued by a company called Network-1. Named companies in the lawsuit are Cisco Systems, Cisco-Linksys, Enterasys Networks, 3Com Corporation, Extreme Networks, Foundry Networks, Netgear and Adtran.
According to Network-1 they have been granted a patent for "Apparatus and Method for Remotely Powering Access Equipment Over a 10/100 Switched Ethernet Network”, also known as IEEE 802.3af PoE standard. Back in 2005 Network-1 has won a lawsuit from D-Link which resulted in a license agreement where D-Link will pay D-Link 3,25% of net sales to Network-1.
What will happen?
I cannot tell. Probably a long term litigation will start where each of the above companies fight their own war, or maybe a pack will arise where they all fight Network-1. My guess is that, because of the D-Link litigation, all companies will have to pay a certain amount of money as well. I will keep you all updated though.