back to article Apple coughs $5m for multitouch patents

Following more than 30 months of argument, Elan Microelectronics has announced that Apple will be paying it $5m for use of its multitouch patents. Elan filed its case back in April 2009, claiming it had been trying to negotiate with Cupertino for two years. It then took the complaint to patent watchdog the International Trade …


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  1. TeeCee Gold badge

    "Not that Elan is a patent troll by any means....."

    So they bought the patent, rather than coming up with it themselves, "for defence". Then they noticed they could screw money out of others with it by using it offensively and proceeded to do so.

    If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck.......

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      you sound Disappointed

      That Apple saw that they were about to found "bang to rights" on patent infringement, and folded rather than fight for the greater good of society and the open exchange of ideas?

      Oh, the iHumanity of it all.

      1. jai

        Predictable really, Tim Cook could sneeze and wipe his nose with $5million worth of notes and no one would really notice the loss from Apple's piggybank.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        so what, WHAT does it matter to you or me?

        If we buy a phone that works and a phone we like who cares.

    2. Marty


      they actually manufacture items and sell them to the OEM market...

      they probably approached the patent holder for a licence and found it cheaper to buy the patent from them.... if they laid out cash for the patent, then they are entitled to defend it....

      I would have a different opinion if they did not manufacture products covered by the licence and just held onto lots of bits of papers with the intention of making money from them

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I picked up my mac with two hands today...

    ...who do I have to pay?

    1. ArmanX
      Thumb Down

      Just use one finger. Not that big of deal.

      (Here, I'll even show you which one!)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        That's a thumb

        1. ArmanX

          The thumb is, technically, a finger. Technically, mind you. I suppose you could use a different finger, but there isn't a picture of one given here.

  3. EyeCU

    Should have held out

    A percentage of all the profits from every iphone and ipad ever sold sounds about right. Even 1/2% would be more than $5m

    Troll as Apple are just about the biggest bunch of patent trolls on the planet

    1. jai

      did you even read the article?? this patent doesn't relate to iphone and ipad multitouch - it's only relating to the trackpads on the laptops and desktops.

      if they'd tried to get those included they'd have lost the case.

      1. EyeCU

        Got me bang to rights

        Didn't read it properly and somehow managed to miss the whole paragraph just after 'real risk of defeat'. Still replace iPhone with MacBook and the point still stands, they would have made more money by holding out.

        And Apple are still a massive patent troll

  4. MurderMostFowl

    Sounds like both sides behaved reasonably

    Elan is valued at less than 5000M NTD ( < $165M USD ), so $5M USD is not bad at all. Presumably the agreements going forward will give Apple unresitricted use of the patent, and Elan will gain future partnership opportunities with 3rd party peripheral manufacturers ( and maybe, as I'm sure the Elan board hopes, a direct deal with Apple )

  5. what_fresh_hell_is_this?

    imagine not reading the article!

    "did you even read the article?? this patent doesn't relate to iphone and ipad multitouch - it's only relating to the trackpads on the laptops and desktops.

    if they'd tried to get those included they'd have lost the case."

    You may have read the article but you didn't read the patent. This patent covers the following:

    A method for detecting the operative coupling of multiple fingers to a touch sensor involving the steps of:

    scanning the touch sensor to (a) identify a first maxima in a signal corresponding to a first finger, (b) identify a minima following the first maxima, (c) identify a second maxima in a signal corresponding to a second finger following said minima, and

    providing an indication of the simultaneous presence of two fingers in response to identification of said first and second maxima.

    Still, why look at a patent before commenting on it, eh?

  6. Ivan Headache

    Confusion at Chateau Headache

    In 2007, at the launch of the iPhone, Steve Jobs introduces the multitouch interface.

    After describing how it works he says "...and boy have we patented it!"

    Does thing mean that the Ean patents are only for touchpads and that Phone interfaces are different?

    To me they look the same, but if Apple claim to have patented it and Elan (Logitec) claim to have patented it..........

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I thought they brought fingerworks to get the tech and patents for the multi-touch?

      If only they still made Touchstream keyboards... but then again Apple still haven't figured out how to make a UK keyboard... Which is one of the main reasons I prefer to code on my PC than my mac...

  7. scarshapedstar

    So, uh...

    Where are all the "Jobs invented multitouch, Android is kirf!" folks?

  8. brianlj

    Is it because Twitter has taught me not to waffle?

    @MurderMostFowl: "going forward"?


  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple should just buy them and their patents.

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