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Elan Microelectronics Turns to U.S. International Trade Commission in Multi-Touch Patent Dispute With Apple


Bloomberg reports that Taiwanese firm Elan Microelectronics has filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) seeking the halt of imports of a variety of Apple products under claims of patent infringement. The complaint follows an April 2009 lawsuit over the same issues.

"Our goal is to protect our technology and to stop sales of those products in the U.S.," Dennis Liu, spokesman for Hsinchu, Taiwan-based Elan, said by phone today. The complaint was filed yesterday and is in addition to a suit brought against Apple in a California court in April last year, Liu said.

Apple's iPhone, iPod Touch, MacBook, Magic Mouse and iPad use technology which infringes Elan's "352" patent for detecting the simultaneous presence of two or more fingers, the company said in an e-mailed statement today.

The ITC will decide within 30 days whether to pursue an investigation of Elan's claims.

Apple has found itself increasingly embroiled in high-profile patent disputes in recent months, facing off with Nokia and Kodak before taking to the offensive by filing a complaint against HTC, manufacturer of a number of Android-based handsets, earlier this month.