back to article Taiwanese chip co asks ITC to ban iPad imports

After its lawsuits against Nokia and HTC, it's Apple's turn to be on the receiving end. Elan Microelectronics, a Taiwanese chip designer which sued the iPhone maker last year, has stepped up its actions, asking the US International Trade Commission for an injunction barring imports of the iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad. The …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What goes around... Apple are patent and lawsuit happy, only fitting it comes back to haunt them...same for so many other...

    1. Sean Timarco Baggaley


      The US legal system REQUIRES they protect their patents. Apple—and other corporations—don't get a choice.

      Nice little earner if you're a lawyer though. (Hmm. I wonder what profession many politicians come from...)

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        No it does not.

        Methinks you are confusing this with trademarks. If you don't want to cash in on your patent, you don't sue.

        Paris, because "input devices detecting the presence of mutliple fingers" etc...

      2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        No it does not.

        Methinks you are confusing this with trademarks.

        Paris, because "input devices detecting the presence of mutliple fingers" etc...

      3. Eddy Ito

        Yes it does

        "The US legal system REQUIRES they protect their patents."

        Of course it does, the US legal system was created by lawyers and it's mostly lawyers that push patents. Is it any wonder that so many obvious and just shite patents go through? I'd call it job security. Personally, I actually hoped to see a lawsuit based on US patent 6368227 before it was reexamined and rejected.

        The ale? Why the hell not.

      4. Al Jones

        Ever heard of a submarine patent?

        Patents aren't trademarks. You lose your trademark if you don't protect it.

        You don't lose your patent. In fact, in many cases it's in your financial interest not to disclose the fact you you own a patent in a particular area until someone else has done all the heavy lifting to create either an official standard that "infringes" on your patent, or a successful product that is worth a hell of a lot more than your patent is.

        That Fail icon applies to you in this case.

  2. ratfox
    Thumb Down


    Insert standard rant against patents.

  3. shmirsh


    a Taiwanese firm complaining about patent infringment?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    ... I know which gesture patent I'd like to copyright/patent/whatever ... and i'd use it to all these companies.

    The only people getting rich off this are the lawyers and it is the punters that have to pay the cost in the products.

    Bah Humbug.

  5. SynnerCal

    This made my day

    "As ye sue, so shall ye be sued"

    If this is proved, doesn't this completely nullify Apple's suing of HTC? Now, that'd be funny...

  6. paulf


    I wonder if Elan are in some way responding, as proxy, to the suit Apple filed against Android via the proxy of HTC. Apple picks a fight with HTC and the rest of Taiwan pitch in to help HTC fight back? I bet HTC already have a licence for multi-touch from Elan or are quietly negotiating a settlement if they haven't...

    As others have said - this current multi-way patent battle can only end one way - nasty and with much richer lawyers all around.

  7. Joe User

    Note to Apple

    Sucks to be on the receiving end of the patent stick, eh Steve?

  8. Ivan Headache

    I seem to remember

    that when Steve Jobs first introduced the iPhone (or was it the iPod Touch) - well whichever came first, - he made a point of announcing in his keynote "don't worry we've got it patented" when showing the multitouch interface.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Elan was late

    5,825,352 was originally filed by Logitech (not Elan) on Feb 28, 1996

    Apple beat them to the punch by over a year with patent 5764218 - filed Jan 31, 1995.

    As best I can tell Apple was first.

    Yes Steve, I will take a check but cash is better.

  10. Joe Ragosta


    I really wish people would bother learning how the system works before babbling on boards like this.

    Apple didn't patent multitouch and never claimed to. Apple patented specific items as covered in their patents. Read the patents. Read the claims. Nowhere did they claim to have patented multitouch.

    As for this company, the validity of its patent will need to be determined, just as the validity of Apple's patents will need to be determined. If they win, it will have absolutely no impact on Apple's lawsuit against HTC. The two issues are entirely unrelated.

    I have read the patent in question (no one should be commenting without reading it) and it's not at all clear that Apple infringes it, anyway. There are a number of differences between what Apple does and what the patent claims - some of them quite fundamental.

    Furthermore, even if Apple were found to infringe, royalties would be paid - but the touchscreen manufacturer would almost certainly be the one paying them, not Apple. There's absolutely no way that Apple would be prevented from selling the iPad or iPhone on the basis of this patent.

    1. Andy Dent 2

      Tog was here

      Apple didn't patent multitouch in general because nobody could - it had been publicly disclosed by Tog years earlier when he was at Sun and did the Starfire video with "pinch to zoom".

      I would also hope that a generic patent on using more than one finger on a surface would fail the test of obviousness.

      Everybody wants to give two fingers to the computer at some point!

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