Apple faces lawsuit over multi-touch technology

By on April 8, 2009, 12:59 PM
Taiwanese chip designer Elan Microelectronics is suing Apple for allegedly infringing on two of its multi-touch patents with the iPhone, iPod Touch and MacBook. The company claims its patents protect the technology enabling finger position recognition on a trackpad or touch screen and is pushing for an injunction to halt production of potentially infringing products.

Elan already won a preliminary injunction against rival Synaptics back in 2006 to which the latter countersued. The two eventually ended up signing a cross-license agreement in November 2008 covering the touch patents, allowing them to drop the suits, and suggesting the company might actually have a case against Apple. The lawsuit did not reveal the exact amount of monetary compensation Elan is seeking, but asked the court to triple the actual damages and require Apple to pay royalties.




User Comments: 4

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jink said:
Patent Law is killing industry and innovation. It's time to put an end to this nonsense. We're all standing on the shoulders of the innovators of the past - patent law is ignorant, greedy and criminal and holds the world back.
eafshar said:
i agree that patents right now are being used too much.. and this suing business is getting ridicules. but i dont think getting rid of copy right and patents is at all a good idea. to encourage innovation you need to provide exclusive financial benefits. copy rights on books for the life of the author+ another 50 years so the publisher can make more money is ridiculous. i dont no the length of patents.. I'd think its up to 15, 20 years.. but its necessary for a company to invest in R&D otherwise companies would just wait for someone else to invent something cool and they'd just copy it.what i hate the most tho is companies that specialize in buying patents now and waiting for a company to come up with a market for it.. and then they start suing. i think something similar happened with RIM who ended up paying hundred of millions of dollars.
captain828 said:
While I agree that "patent trolls" are hurting the industry, it's important to have patents in order to demonstrate that something is made by you and you came up with the idea.x86 for example is patented by Intel. Anyone that wants to produce x86 CPUs will have to ask Intel for a license.What is really hurting the industry is the irresponsible patent-giving that seems to be reaching such heights that one won't even be able to type on a keyboard unless having a license.[b]Originally written by eafshar:[/b][quote]What i hate the most tho is companies that specialize in buying patents now and waiting for a company to come up with a market for it.. and then they start suing. i think something similar happened with RIM who ended up paying hundred of millions of dollars. [/quote]Unfortunately there is nothing that can stop a company from suing when their patent gets used from the get-go or X years later. See the [url=http://www.techspot.com/news/33715-owner-of-netbook-tra
emark-sued-by-intel.html]netbook issue[/url].
polidiotic said:
I'm so glad that I'm not alone in this thinking... this kind of behavior has gone on, long enough. It's become absolutely ridiculous and yes, it prevents and slows down innovation. Something has to happen with the policies regulating patents. Sure, give credit to where it's due, but if someone can improve upon an idea (and really, some are so incredibly vast, it's just insane), allow them to.I was just talking to someone about this the other day... just imagine if someone patented the Qwerty keyboard layout... This has become a get rich quick scheme, and I have a feeling that it's because these little sniveling lawyers, who infiltrate large/small corporations, have absolutely little-to-no morals/ethics left.This, coupled with the music/movie industry's trampling over internet usage and the rights of the end user are killing innovation, productivity, profit and simple motivation.
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