Elan patent lawsuit threatens Apple iPad

Taiwanese chipmaker Elan Microelectronics is to extend its patent infringement case against Apple to include the Apple iPad.

Taiwanese chipmaker Elan Microelectronics is to extend its patent infringement case against Apple to include the Apple iPad.

The move comes less than a month after the company filed a complaint against Apple over multi-touch technology used in its iPhone and iPod Touch mobile devices.

The company says Apple has infringed on a patent for Elan's Multi-Finger touchscreen technology issued in 1998 by using the technology in the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad.

Elan is calling for Apple to be barred from selling these products in the US, according to the Financial Times.

Victory for Elan could have repercussions not only for Apple, but also Microsoft, which uses similar technology in the multi-touch user interface in Windows 7 and Microsoft Surface, the company's coffee table-style PC.

Elan first sued Apple for patent infringement in 2009, but in March filed a complaint with the US International Trade Commission (ITC).

The company hopes the ITC will help speed up the court process. The ITC is expected to make a decision at the end of April whether to investigate Elan's claims.

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