Elan Microelectronics Turns to U.S. International Trade Commission in Multi-Touch Patent Dispute With Apple

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Bloomberg reports that Taiwanese firm Elan Microelectronics has filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) seeking the halt of imports of a variety of Apple products under claims of patent infringement. The complaint follows an April 2009 lawsuit over the same issues.
"Our goal is to protect our technology and to stop sales of those products in the U.S.," Dennis Liu, spokesman for Hsinchu, Taiwan-based Elan, said by phone today. The complaint was filed yesterday and is in addition to a suit brought against Apple in a California court in April last year, Liu said.

Apple's iPhone, iPod Touch, MacBook, Magic Mouse and iPad use technology which infringes Elan's "352" patent for detecting the simultaneous presence of two or more fingers, the company said in an e-mailed statement today.
The ITC will decide within 30 days whether to pursue an investigation of Elan's claims.

Apple has found itself increasingly embroiled in high-profile patent disputes in recent months, facing off with Nokia and Kodak before taking to the offensive by filing a complaint against HTC, manufacturer of a number of Android-based handsets, earlier this month.

Article Link: Elan Microelectronics Turns to U.S. International Trade Commission in Multi-Touch Patent Dispute With Apple
 

Jodles

macrumors regular
Dec 5, 2008
171
2
Stopping the sale of these products in the U.S. is perhaps slightly dramatic, but if Apple have infringed on their patent, I'm sure they can get some $$.

Sort of funny situation, when Apple is suing others for using their multi-touch technology. :confused: :p
 

bearcatrp

macrumors 68000
Sep 24, 2008
1,604
3
Boon Docks USA
Well apple, pay up IF you did infringe just like you expect those you are going after. It would suck to find out apple did infringe. Makes them no better than microsoft! With all that cash apple is hoarding, they should buy it and be done with it.
 

ValSalva

macrumors 68040
Jun 26, 2009
3,746
201
Burpelson AFB
What a surprise? Another company trying to extort money from Apple.

These patents probably aren't defensible anyway. Multitouch is probably considered obvious. I'm not even sure Apple is going after HTC over multitouch because their patents wouldn't hold water.

Money will exchange hands and all will go on as usual.
 

SteveSparks

macrumors 6502a
Jan 22, 2008
905
31
St. Louis, MO.
Stopping the sale of these products in the U.S. is perhaps slightly dramatic, but if Apple have infringed on their patent, I'm sure they can get some $$.

Sort of funny situation, when Apple is suing others for using their multi-touch technology. :confused: :p
Its not multi-touch that apple is complainig about with HTC.
 

Markov

macrumors 6502
May 18, 2007
399
0
Philadelphia
Is this the start of an Applegate :eek:
Hahaha!! Too funny my friend. :D

We are reaching the patent boiling point. They grant too many similar patents...
Agreed.

Is this perhaps the reason for iPad shortages? Could this also be the reason for the delayed upgrade of MacBook Pro's? I'm sure the latter is unlikely, and please, do no flame me. I'm sure the reason we haven't seen the upgrades yet is because Apple doesn't want to kill the iPad hype... It was just a suggestion. Now where is my Microsoft necklace to ward off fanboys... :p
 

mr.steevo

macrumors 65816
Jul 21, 2004
1,323
774
The titles are irrelevant. All that matters is the patents' claims, and I assure you the claims are all very specific.
cmaier is correct. He should know, he's a patent lawyer.

Fortunately he gives his credentials on every Macrumors thread relating to patent disputes.

s.
 

futbalguy

macrumors 6502
May 16, 2007
269
45
I think its crazy that anyone can patent such a simple thing as swiping a finger on a surface. Its not even a unique motion, its just a single straight swipe. The patent looks like a picture book of how to press a finger to a surface and move it in a straight line. How thoughtful.

Edit: I realized i was looking at Apple's patent for unlocking linked above. My comment still stands.
 

iRACK

macrumors regular
Sep 15, 2009
121
0
What kind of patents are these?

Sorry i have a patent on touching a penis with one hand.

This is not an idea you can steal, since it is no special thing to have something recognize body parts....
 

jerome65

macrumors member
Jan 21, 2010
93
0
Ohio
It seems to me that too many of these patents are more ideas than an actual product or the technology behind doing what the patent covers. I can see merit to it if Apple's method was using the same circuitry to achieve the result, but to award a patent protection that block any other company or individual from coming up with a way to detect multiple fingers toughing a touch screen seems a bit excessive. I would say the same about many of Apple's claims as well.

Imagine where medical science would be today if someone patented
"A method of using a virus, alive or dead, to build up resistance to the virus in the host organism."
 

Markov

macrumors 6502
May 18, 2007
399
0
Philadelphia
Sorry i have a patent on touching a penis with one hand.
Too funny! Too bad there is no smiley face for laughing out of control.

So if this company stops selling these products in America for the time being, does that mean there will be constrained supplies of all mentioned products? Or are there enough in the Apple vaults to last 30 days?
 

daxomni

macrumors 6502
Jun 24, 2009
453
0
All that matters is the patents' claims, and I assure you the claims are all very specific.
Yep, that's all that matters. To a lawyer. Some of us are able to look beyond the specifics of overly vague patents and the frivolous lawsuits they facilitate and see the expensive damage it does to our society beyond our paychecks. Patent law was created to promote innovation, not stifle it.
 

bcb23

macrumors member
Jul 15, 2009
45
0
Scottsdale, AZ
Everyone wants a piece of the Apple pie. Good luck.
That might be true; however, it may also be that Apple has indeed infringed upon another patent. Apple certainly appears and acts as if Steve can walk on water and hubris has crept in: Apple cannot just do whatever it wants. Apple wants to protect its technology and has never been shy about lawsuits. It is about time they faced the same tactics.
 
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