Taiwan firm accuses Apple of patent infringement

April 9, 2009
People explore the features of the new 17-inch MacBook Pro during the Macworld Expo 2009 in San Francisco in January 2009. Taiwan's Elan Microelectronics Corp. has filed suit against Apple for allegedly infringing two of its patents for touchscreen technology.

Taiwan's Elan Microelectronics Corp. has filed suit against Apple for allegedly infringing two of its patents for touchscreen technology.

The lawsuit, filed in a US District Court here on Tuesday, accuses of infringing on Elan patents in its iBook, PowerBook and MacBook portable computers, the and the iPod Touch digital music player.

"Each of these devices includes a touch-sensitive input device capable of detecting the simultaneous presence of two or more fingers or other capacitive objects using the structure and methods claimed in (Elan's) 352 ," the complaint said.

Elan alleged that the iPhone and iPod Touch infringe on another patent held by the Taiwan company.

The complaint claims the patent infringement is causing Elan "irreparable harm," asks the court to put an end to it and demands unspecified damages from the Cupertino, California-based Apple.

According to The New York Times, Elan filed suit in 2006 against another US company, Synaptics, over one of the patents mentioned in the Apple lawsuit.

It said Synaptics countersued and both actions were dismissed last year after the companies reached a cross-licensing agreement.

An Apple spokeswoman told the Times there would be no comment on the suit.

(c) 2009 AFP

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