A group representing public universities in the state of Washington has filed suit against three of the world’s top manufacturers of wireless handsets, claiming that wireless devices produced by the companies contain computer chips that violate Bluetooth technology patents developed at the University of Washington. Matsushita of Japan, Nokia of Finland, and Korea’s Samsung Electronics were named in the lawsuit filed December 21 by the Washington Research Foundation (WRF), which holds the patents on behalf of the University of Washington. Bluetooth technology allows electronic devices, such as handheld computers and PDAs, to communicate with each other wirelessly. The complaint, filed with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, alleges that the three equipment vendors, along with their U.S.-based units, produced wireless products that contain Bluetooth chipsets imported from CSR PLC, a British chipmaker that lacks a Bluetooth license. Although WRF is seeking unspecified damages, a spokesman said the group would be willing to settle the dispute if the companies initiate a licensing agreement or if they agree to produce handsets with chips purchased from Broadcom, a rival chipmaker that has secured a Bluetooth technology license. Officials of the three companies declined to comment.