ITC investigates claims against Apple
Touchscreen patent row
The US trade watchdog confirmed this week that it would investigate patent infringement allegations made by Elan Microelectronics against Apple last month.
The US International Trade Commission (ITC) said in a statement that it had voted to probe "certain electronic devices with multi-touch enabled touchpads and touchscreens," following Elan's complaint.
"The products at issue in this investigation are electronic devices such as mobile telephones and computers that have multi-touch user interfaces,” said the ITC.
Elan, a Taiwanese chip designer which sued the iPhone maker in 2009, stepped up its actions against Apple last month when it asked the ITC for an injunction barring imports of the iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad.
The case will be assigned to one of the regulator's six administrative law judges, said the ITC. The complaint, filed with the US trade watchdog on 29 March this year, alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930.
At this stage the ITC pointed out it had "not yet made any decision on the merits of the case," but Elan will nonetheless be pleased that an investigation has now begun. ®
How long has the iPhone been out?
From most of the Patent lawsuits I have seen filed over recent years it appears that it is an incredibly slow and costly process.
My guess is that the company first of all has to guess the product might infringe their IP, then get hold of one & deconstruct it to find out how it works and then they would have to prove that the similarities are enough to infringe on patent (In some cases that could be very difficult, or possibly even illegal if, say, the infringement has been encrypted).
Companies such as Apple claim commercial secrecy to keep their competative edge.
- On the other hand when you employ staff who have worked for another company then similarites between the products should be looked at closely in case the employee has "stolen" IP from their previous employer.
Here's an Idea...
Why don't we all just get together in a circle and sue each other for anything and everything under the sun and have one big patent circle-jerk? That way all the sleazy, corrupt lawyers get rich and fat and us lowly consumers get cutting-edge technologies products held back?
"For tis the sport to have the enginer Hoist with his owne petar".