Microsoft, Apple and 20 other tech companies have been accused of violating a touch-screen patent. Tsera filed suit on July 15 claiming that several mainstream devices make use of a technology invented by the small company. Tsera supposedly owns the rights to a patent for “methods and apparatus for controlling a portable electronic device using a touchpad.”

The patent was filed by Chuang Li in 1999 and granted in 2003. Among the gadgets which have allegedly infringed on the patent are Microsoft’s Zune, Apple’s iPod classic and nano, LG’s Chocolate VX8500 and Philips' GoGear. Apple is facing the brunt of the storm, as Tsera asserts that they have been aware of the patent since September of 04, and have been knowingly infringing since.

Given Apple’s deliberate defiance, Tsera is seeking “enhanced damages” from them – but only expects standard damages from the rest. The filing requests a jury trial, which are a rarity in these types of cases. All who think Tsera will be laughed out of court, say I.