Elan Asks to Block iPad Imports Over Screen Patents

Elan Asks to Block iPad Imports Over Screen Patents

Taiwanese chip and touchscreen maker Elan Microelectronics Corp. has asked the U.S. International Trade Commission to ban the import and sale of some Apple Inc. products —  including the almost-in-your-hands iPad —  alleging patent infringement.

Apple’s iPhone, iPod Touch, MacBook, Magic Mouse and iPad use technology which the company claims infringes Elan’s patent “352” granted in 1998 for detecting the simultaneous presence of two or more fingers, Elan said in an email statement today.

“Our goal is to protect our technology and to stop sales of those products in the U.S.,” Elan spokesperson Dennis Liu told Bloomberg.

This isn’t the first time Elan, which bills itself as the “smart human interface expert,” tries to give Apple the eFinger: they filed suit against Apple in a California court over another touscreen patent, “353,” in April last year.

Apple has not yet commented on the suit.

One thing is certain: patent lawyers on both continents will be keeping a shine on their shoes. On March 2, Apple filed a complaint with the ITC against Taiwan’s HTC Corp. alleging its patents were breached, though the cases are not related.

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Nicole MartinelliNicole Martinelli heads up Cult of Mac Magazine, our weekly publication available on iTunes. You can find her on Twitter and Google+. If you're doing something new, cool and Apple-related, email her.

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