Hsinchu, Taiwan - Elan Microelectronics Corporation today announced that it has filed a lawsuit for patent infringement against Apple, Inc. The suit, filed in the United States District Court for Northern California, requests damages and an injunction against the unauthorized use of two of Elan's patents in Apple's MacBook, iPhone and iPod Touch products.
The patents cover innovations in touch-sensitive input devices incorporated into smartphones and computer touchpads. The first patent at issue, U.S. Patent 5,825,352 ("the '352 patent"), relates to touch-sensitive input devices with the ability to detect the simultaneous presence of two or more fingers. Multi-finger applications are becoming popular in smartphone and computer applications. The '352 patent is a fundamental patent to the detection of multi-fingers that allows for any subsequent multi-finger applications to be implemented. The second patent, U.S. Patent No. 7,274,353 ("the '353 patent"), is directed to touchpads capable of switching between keyboard and handwriting input modes.
The present lawsuit is filed after repeated licensing negotiations over a significant period of time that failed to result in any agreement between Elan and Apple. The suit also represents a continuation of Elan's determination to protect and enforce its intellectual property rights. Elan's policy is to ensure that its intellectual property rights, especially in the touch-sensitive input device market, are respected by all manufacturers. Elan will continue to review the products of other manufacturers and enforce its intellectual property rights consistent with its policy.
Late last year Elan settled the lawsuit it brought against Synpatics, Inc. over infringement of the '352 patent, resulting in a license agreement between the companies. That settlement was reached after the district court in California found that certain Synaptics touchpads included multi-finger detection methods infringed the '352 patent. The court also issued a preliminary injunction against Synaptics, Inc. In reaching that decision, the court affirmed the validity of the '352 patent.
Headquartered in Taiwan's Hsinchu Science Park, ELAN Microelectronics Corporation is semiconductor and product design house. Elan was founded 1994 and continues to focus on the research and development of integrated circuit and touchpad module solutions. Elan is a worldwide leader in the research and development of products that enable Smart Human-Machine Interface ("HMI") solutions. These solutions include Elan's Capacitive Touchpads and Transparent Touchpads, such as its Smart-Pad – The Magic of Multi-Finger™ which incorporate Elan's proprietary eFinger® and eStylus™ technologies. Elan and its predecessors pioneered the use of touchpad gestures involving multiple simultaneous finger touches for input devices. ELAN is listed in the Taiwan Stock Exchange.
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