“The sale of Apple’s iPhone and iPad in the US is under threat after the US International Trade Commission initiated a formal investigation into the company for allegedly infringing a patent covering multi-touch technology,” Mike Harvey reports for The Times Online.
“The ITC, which has the power to ban the import and sale of products, said it was responding to a request from the Taiwanese touchscreen maker Elan Microelectronics, which has a patent for technology that detects the simultaneous presence of two or more fingers on a touchscreen or touchpad,” Harvey reports. “Elan, which successfully settled a similar lawsuit against touchpad technology company Synaptics in 2008, accuses Apple of ‘knowingly and deliberately’ infringing the patent. The semiconductor design company is also suing Apple in California, alleging that Apple is infringing two of its multi-touch patents.”
“An eventual victory by Elan could lead to an exclusion order barring the US import of infringing Apple products,” Harvey reports. “A cease and desist order could also be granted to prevent Apple from selling any of the products that have already been imported.”
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Harvey reports, “Analysts said it is likely that Elan is seeking a licensing agreement with Apple for the multi-touch technology. Touchscreens for mobile devices have become the de facto standard for smartphones, following the hugely successful launch of the iPhone in 2007.”
Full article here.