So Who Owns Touch?

new-macbook-trackpadAnother story about legal maneuvering about touch surfaced yesterday. This one features Taiwanese company Elan Microelectronics suing Apple over alleged infringement of two touch screen patents. This comes in the wake of Apple’s previous threats to Palm over touch and multi-touch on the eagerly anticipated Palm Pre.

Elan apparently has some past history to fall back on as a previous case against Synaptics which was settled out of court. That case revolved around one of the patents in the current suit.

Most of these kinds of cases are settled out of court with money changing hands, but given how Apple likes to play hardball in its business dealings you never know. Perhaps it is time to take this to court and get it all settled with touch becoming so prevalent on so many fronts.

2 Comments

  1. Clayton

    04/09/2009 at 6:27 am

    Although normally I like the idea of protecting your ideas and work with patents and copyrights, something like multi-touch input seems like it shouldn’t be owned by one company unless they plan to manufacture the input devices for other companies to put in their own devices. (E.g. Wacom)

    Apple’s arrogance in these types of matters is what makes me not want to buy their products.

    Reply

  2. Andrew

    04/09/2009 at 8:16 am

    Elan Microelectronics Corp. seems to make products that Asus and some other companies use. I have read that they were talking to Apple about the patent for the last two years, but Apple and Elan never came to an agreement so Elan took Apple to court. I hope Apple learns a lesson on stealing technology.

    Reply

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