We had trouble staying awake during law classes in college, and reading lawsuit articles kind of puts us in that same place.  This one seems to be a big deal though, at least in the world of multi-touch, something that Apple is heavily vested in.  The NYTimes is reporting that a Tiawanese firn, Elan, is suing Apple over some of its Multi-Touch IP:

“We couldn’t find a common viewpoint with Apple, so we decided we had to take action,” he said, adding that the companies had been in licensing talks for about two years.

The lawsuit alleges that Apple products including its MacBook computer, iPhone and iPod Touch use technology that infringes on two of Elan’s “multi-touch” patents, the company said in a statement.

It was not immediately clear what damages or remedial action Elan was seeking in the suit. In January, Apple reported stronger than expected fourth-quarter earnings of $1.61 billion, in part due to robust iPhone, MacBook and iPod sales. The company said it sold 4.4 million iPhones that quarter, nearly double the amount sold in the year-ago quarter.

Ironically, Elan makes the touchpads for the EeePCs, something which is conventionally thought to have followed Apple into the multi-touch arena.  The firm has Chinese language press release which looks like a retort to the media inquiries.  OK, nap time.


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Seth Weintraub

Publisher and Editorial Director of the 9to5/Electrek sites.

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