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  1. reidme's Avatar
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  2. #2  
    Can't see article. Copy & paste it, maybe?
  3. #3  
    New York Times

    Published: April 8, 2009


    TAIPEI — The Taiwanese company Elan Microelectronics has sued Apple Computer, alleging infringement of two of its touch screen patents, a company spokesman said Wednesday.

    The suit was filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, Dennis Liu, an Elan spokesman, said by phone from the chip design company’s headquarters in Hsinchu, Taiwan.

    “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. Apple is based in Cupertino, California.

    The lawsuit alleges that Apple products — including its MacBook computer, iPhone and iPod Touch — use technology that infringes on two of Elan’s patents, Elan 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 because of robust sales for the iPhone, MacBook and iPod. Apple said it sold 4.4 million iPhones that quarter, nearly double the amount sold in the year-before quarter.

    Jill Tan, an Apple spokeswoman based in Hong Kong, said in an e-mail message that the company would not comment on the Elan suit.

    “Multi-touch” technology allows users to zoom in and out, flip images around and perform other tasks using two or more fingers pressed to the screen.

    Such screens are increasingly popular in a wide array of electronic devices and appliances. The market consulting company iSuppli last year forecast that the worldwide market for all touch screen modules would nearly double, from $3.4 billion in 2008 to $6.4 billion by 2013.

    Elan said it won a preliminary court injunction against a U.S.-based rival, Synaptics, in a dispute over one of the patents mentioned in the Apple lawsuit, after a suit was filed in 2006 by a unit that was a subsidiary at the time. Synaptics countersued.

    Both actions were dismissed last year after the two companies reached a cross-licensing agreement, according to a statement on Elan’s Web site.

    That result likely emboldened the company to take legal action against Apple, said Jessica Chang, a Taipei-based analyst who covers Elan for Credit Suisse.

    “From their previous victory in the case with Synaptics, I think they should be quite confident,” she said, referring to Elan. “Elan believes they have a unique edge with this patent, and they want to send a signal to the market” and set an example for others.

    Ms. Chang said that in addition to trying to secure a licensing agreement and royalties from Apple, Elan may seek future cooperation with the California company and try to raise its market profile with this case.

    Touchpads helped drive up Elan’s profits last year, she said, providing about 20 percent of its revenue in the fourth quarter of 2008. Much of that revenue came from touchpads that Elan provides for Asustek’s popular EEE PC netbooks, Ms. Chang said.

    Like Taiwan’s other chip firms, though, Elan has been struggling in the downturn. Its revenue plunged starting in December, said Chang, dipping to 170 million new Taiwan dollars, or $5 million, in January (a 44 percent year-on-year drop), and 199 million dollars in February (a 22 percent year-on-year drop), before climbing back to 336 million dollars in March.

    Mr. Liu, the Elan spokesman, said the company believed the Apple case was “comparable” to the Synaptics case and that the company hoped to have the dispute resolved in a “shorter time.” He declined to reveal details of the agreement with Synaptics, citing confidentiality agreements.
  4. #4  
    this is great

    some apple products are very cool, but they run the company like they're campaigning for biggest ****** bag in the world
  5. #5  
    Companies the like of Apple, Microsoft, RIM get sued on almost a daily basis.
  6. #6  
    I thought apple invented fingers?
  7. gbp
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    Quote Originally Posted by sir_mycroft View Post
    I thought apple invented fingers?
    and EYES too err , EARS too
  8. #8  
    thanks - good read
    da Gimp

    Please note: My spelling sucks and I'm to lazy to check it.
  9. #9  
    AHHAHAHAHA How ironic - they were just boasting how they would potentially take action to protect "their" intellectual property.
  10. #10  
    this is amazing good for them, apples thinks they create and own everything.
  11. bullet317's Avatar
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    I'm glad to see someone going after Apple. I'm tired of their pressure tatics to prevent better phones from being developed. Apple thinks that they have a stranglehold on the market but they are wrong. Apple is already infringing on many of Palms patents but you don't see palm beating their chest's. Apple take a hint and let phone development progress.
  12. #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by cary328is View Post
    AHHAHAHAHA How ironic - they were just boasting how they would potentially take action to protect "their" intellectual property.
    Dont get too excited here. Apple has tremendously comprehensive patents in the area of MT. This is just Elan grasping for money and business. Apple might settle for a little money or it might drag on inconclusively for years on end. This is a complete non event, If it didnt involve 'OMG APPLE iPHONE' and it wasnt a slow news day a story like this would never even make the papers.
  13. #13  
    Let's hope this company did not wait too long to sue like Xerox did.
  14. #14  
    Haw... How ironic. They insinuate that they will sue Palm... Then Apple gets sued for the same tech.

    I love the way the world works.
  15. #15  
    We should hope that their suit is not successful. Guess who they'll come after next if they get a payday from Apple after getting something from Synaptics? Yes, that's right, Palm.

    Yeah, Apple has no business suing someone over multi-touch, but I don't think anyone else does either, even if the target is Apple.

    I don't know anything about Elan, but Palm might not have the mobile patents leverage against Elan that they have over Apple.
  16. gbp
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    Quote Originally Posted by chodaboy View Post
    Let's hope this company did not wait too long to sue like Xerox did.

    Good one , BTW , Xerox is still in business , can still sue APPLE

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