Apple faces lawsuit over multi-touch technology

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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.

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