Apple Sued Over Touchscreen iPad, Move To Ban Sales

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Apple is facing another round of legal action after a Taiwanese company, which has had a lot of success in the past suing violators of their patents, lodged a complaint with the US International Trade Commission claiming that Apple is allegedly infringing on a patent covering multi-touch technology in their new iPad.

Elan Microelectronics, which has a patent for technology that detects the simultaneous presence of two or more fingers on a touch screen or touchpad successfully, settled a similar lawsuit in 2008 against Synaptics, a touchpad technology company that they accused of  “knowingly and deliberately” infringing their touchscreen patents.

Now they are accusing Apple of the same patent infringement. They claim that Apple “knowingly and deliberately” infringed their patent in developing the iPad.

The Times in London say that an eventual victory by Elan could lead to an exclusion order barring the US import of infringing Apple products. A cease and desist order could also be granted to prevent Apple from selling any of the products that have already been imported. Analysts said it is likely that Elan is seeking a licensing agreement with Apple for the multi-touch technology.

Last month, Apple sued Taiwanese handset maker HTC over the use of touchscreen technology. They asked the ITC to investigate whether the firm infringes its patents. The case is seen as an indirect attack against Google’s Android software, which runs on many HTC handsets. The ITC has yet to respond.

“We think competition is healthy, but competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours,” said Steve Jobs, Apple chief executive. HTC said it was confident it could defend itself.

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