Apple accused of violating multi-touch patent in ITC complaint

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
A Taiwanese maker of chips and touchscreens has asked the U.S. International Trade Commission to ban the import and sale of Apple products for alleged violation of a multi-touch patent.



Elan Microelectronics hopes the commission will ban the sale of a number of Apple products, including the forthcoming iPad, along with the iPhone and iPod touch. According to Bloomberg, Elan has accused Apple of "knowingly and deliberately" using the company's technology and infringing on a patent it owns.



Other products alleged by Elan to infringe on its patent are the MacBook and Magic Mouse, both of which employ multi-touch technology. Elan reportedly owns a patent for detecting the simultaneous presence of two or more fingers.



The ITC now must decide whether it will investigate the claims made by Elan. If it chooses to do so, the investigation could take up to 15 months.



Elan previously sued Apple last April over the same patents. The company has already won a related suit against Synaptics, which is best-known for making trackpads as well as earlier forms of the conventional iPod scroll wheel.



The latest ITC complaint is one of a number the commission has before it that involve Apple. Early this month, Apple sued HTC in a complaint with the ITC, alleging that the rival handset maker infringed on 20 patents related to the iPhone's user interface, including multi-touch.



In addition, in recent months the iPhone maker has sued Nokia, and is also being sued by the Finnish handset maker. The ITC has agreed to look into both companies' complaints of patent infringement.



The ITC has also begun investigating claims made by Kodak against Apple. The camera company has alleged that Apple is in violation of patents that relate to the previewing of images, and processing them at different resolutions.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 52
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,309member
    There are no winners in a multi-touch battle.
  • Reply 2 of 52
    ezduzitezduzit Posts: 158member
    yogi said it, "deja vu all over again"
  • Reply 3 of 52
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    A Taiwanese maker of chips and touchscreens has asked the U.S. International Trade Commission to ban the import and sale of Apple products for alleged violation of a multi-touch patent.



    Elan Microelectronics hopes the commission will ban the sale of a number of Apple products, including the forthcoming iPad, along with the iPhone and iPod touch. According to Bloomberg, Elan has accused Apple of "knowingly and deliberately" using the company's technology and infringing on a patent it owns.



    Other products alleged by Elan to infringe on its patent are the MacBook and Magic Mouse, both of which employ multi-touch technology. Elan reportedly owns a patent for detecting the simultaneous presence of two or more fingers.



    The ITC now must decide whether it will investigate the claims made by Elan. If it chooses to do so, the investigation could take up to 15 months.



    Elan previously sued Apple last April over the same patents. The company has already won a related suit against Synaptics, which is best-known for making trackpads as well as earlier forms of the conventional iPod scroll wheel.



    The latest ITC complaint is one of a number the commission has before it that involve Apple. Early this month, Apple sued HTC in a complaint with the ITC, alleging that the rival handset maker infringed on 20 patents related to the iPhone's user interface, including multi-touch.



    In addition, in recent months the iPhone maker has sued Nokia, and is also being sued by the Finnish handset maker. The ITC has agreed to look into both companies' complaints of patent infringement.



    The ITC has also begun investigating claims made by Kodak against Apple. The camera company has alleged that Apple is in violation of patents that relate to the previewing of images, and processing them at different resolutions.



    These patent whores will never give up, will they? They think that Apple is easy pickings!



    The fact is, Apple is the most innovative company in the history of the world. Edison's got NOTHING on Steve!



    So these patent whores need to go away and innovate, or just keep quiet!
  • Reply 4 of 52
    roboduderobodude Posts: 273member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


    There are no winners in a multi-touch battle.



    Apple news sites
  • Reply 5 of 52
    molochmoloch Posts: 46member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleRulez View Post


    These patent whores will never give up, will they?



    If they're whores, who are the johns? Who are the pimps? Please elaborate.
  • Reply 6 of 52
    leonardleonard Posts: 528member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


    There are no winners in a multi-touch battle.





    Why do I hear the phrase "Quit touching me!" and kids come to mind?
  • Reply 8 of 52
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,162member
    There are billions of dollars at stake here. The iPad is going to touch off a huge new market worth untold billions in profits. Everybody and their brother is trying to get their piece of this pie. Obviously this company doesn't really want to ban the sale of Apple products. They want a slice of the pie if they get some legal entity to agree with them and somehow make it stick. Same goes for everybody in the game, including Apple. The MacBook and iPhone have been around several years now. Makes one wonder why these suits are just popping up all of a sudden like, doesn't it? Could it be that everybody sees this new mass market as their ticket to massive profits by playing the lamprey sucker fish and attaching themselves to Apple's (the shark's) underbelly?
  • Reply 9 of 52
    leonardleonard Posts: 528member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleRulez View Post


    These patent whores will never give up, will they? They think that Apple is easy pickings!



    Actually, this company doesn't look like a patent whore. From a quick look at their website, they seem to actually manufacture or create products.
  • Reply 10 of 52
    grkinggrking Posts: 533member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleRulez View Post


    These patent whores will never give up, will they? They think that Apple is easy pickings!



    The fact is, Apple is the most innovative company in the history of the world. Edison's got NOTHING on Steve!



    So these patent whores need to go away and innovate, or just keep quiet!



    That's right, Einstein, Oppenheimer, Hawking are all clearly inferior to Steve, who is the only person in the history of the universe that has ever done anything remotely innovate or novel. We should pass patent reform that exempts Apple from any sort of patent suit because Apple so innovative. We all know that Kodak is a patent troll and that Apple invented photography as well as digital photography and thus Kodak has no basis whatsoever for suing Apple.
  • Reply 11 of 52
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,675member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleRulez View Post


    ... or just keep quiet!



    just like a couple of bed-trolls should be doing here in AI. Clam up iGenius.
  • Reply 12 of 52
    isaidsoisaidso Posts: 750member
    Elan reportedly owns A patent for detecting the simultaneous presence of two or more fingers.

    OR

    Elan reportedly owns THE patent for detecting the simultaneous presence of two or more fingers.
  • Reply 13 of 52
    finetunesfinetunes Posts: 2,065member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sflocal View Post


    just like a couple of bed-trolls should be doing here in AI. Clam up iGenius.



    What you didn't add AppleRulez to your ignore list?
  • Reply 14 of 52
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,162member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sflocal View Post


    just like a couple of bed-trolls should be doing here in AI. Clam up iGenius.





    Prolific little jerk too. He joined 3/25/2010 and is averaging almost 14 posts a day since that date. I wonder how long till the powers that be notice the pattern?
  • Reply 15 of 52
    lilgto64lilgto64 Posts: 1,147member
    i dunno - seems to me there must be some sort of prior art in regards to determining whether any given human being has more than one finger.



    not sure the specifics in this case - but in general I thought a patent was supposed to be for a specific implementation of an idea - not the general idea itself.



    For example - I cannot file a patent along the lines of - a device for the apprehension of and subsequent detainment of members of the order of Rodentia and expect to sue anyway who makes a mouse trap. On the other hand, if I have very specific idea of how to combine a spring and a clamp and a bar and base etc to effect said apprehension and detainment - then I can get a patent on a specific design for a mouse trap - regardless of whether I even in fact actually manufacture such a device.



    If someone decides to make a mouse trap that uses my design but they change the physical dimensions and use plastic instead of metal for this part or that then I may have a patent suit. however, if my design is a spring loaded bait triggered thin metal bar I would not expect to be able to sue the guy who comes up with a two part plastic jaw with angled interlocking teeth triggered by a floor plate with a concealed spring instead of a bait loaded trigger.



    so in the case of multi-touch - simply having a design that detects and responds to two simultaneous inputs, I would think, is insufficient basis for a patent whereas some specific design criteria for how the input is detected, how it is processed, how false positives are filtered out, etc or perhaps the circuitry or components required then okay - if you designed - even if only on paper and filed with the patent office a specific system, which someone then COPIED your design you have a case - but if they only "copied" the idea in a completely different engineering solution then I don't think there is any case - especially if there is no evidence of any awareness of your design.



    A bit grayer in my mind would be a case where someone sees another's idea - even if only on paper - and sets about creating a functional duplicate which may or may not share any underlying similarity then what?



    Of course this sort of debate has been going on since at least the invention of Calculus by Newton and Leibniz - but then that was more a plagiarism sort of thing - and in fact the earliest forms of calculus predated them both by about 3000 years or so.



    In short - I don't think you can patent a generic idea - and should not be able to sue another party for having an idea that resembles yours. And I do think many of these cases start out as, hey that idea kinda resembles mine and mine is going no where so I'll hop on the gravy train.
  • Reply 16 of 52
    robin huberrobin huber Posts: 3,275member
    It says Elan previously sued Apple over the same patents. What was the disposition of the original suit and why are they suing again?



    Apart from that it is kind of interesting that that Elan is suing Apple so soon after Apple sued HTC over similar matters. Makes you wonder if there is something going on between Elan and HTC.
  • Reply 17 of 52
    motleemotlee Posts: 122member
    Does anyone know why these companies decide to file so many years after the patent has been filed? This Elan patent was from 2007. MS is getting sued over a 2005 patent and so on..

    Does it simply take that long to determine whether that device is using the same patented tech?
  • Reply 18 of 52
    finetunesfinetunes Posts: 2,065member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post


    Prolific little jerk too. He joined 3/25/2010 and is averaging almost 14 posts a day since that date. I wonder how long till the powers that be notice the pattern?



    I guess iGenius was caught early, solipsism' post http://forums.appleinsider.com/showt...=108066&page=2.



    If its true that if you post while you are BANNED you are BANNED forever, then when is going to happen to AppleRulez. The troll is on my ignore list but it keeps coming up when other people respond to its post.
  • Reply 19 of 52
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sflocal View Post


    just like a couple of bed-trolls should be doing here in AI. Clam up iGenius.





    I don't think it is either iG or TS. Those guys were a little sharper. This guy is more of a simpleton, more in the vein of MacTripper.
  • Reply 20 of 52
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleRulez View Post


    <SNIP>



    The fact is, Apple is the most innovative company in the history of the world. Edison's got NOTHING on Steve!



    <SNIP>



    That's true, Edison stole much of his technology (see lightbulb), but Apple is so much better at it.....
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