Mon, Jul 04, 2011 - Page 12 News List

Elan mulls appeal against unfavorable ITC patent ruling

PERSISTENT:Although it lost to Apple in the latest ITC decision, Elan’s north California court filing over the same infringement of patent is still being heard

Staff Writer, with CNA

Elan Microelectronics Corp (義隆電子), a chip and touchscreen maker in Taiwan, is considering an appeal against a ruling handed down by the International Trade Commission (ITC) of the US in favor of Apple Inc, which Elan had accused of a patent infringement.

Elan said late on Friday that the ITC ignored its arguments pointing to Apple’s infringement of its patent on multi-point touch panel technology and upheld its preliminary decision in favor of the US high-tech giant.

The Taiwanese company said that the latest ITC decision had hurt the rights of Elan and it was considering filing an appeal against it.

In March last year, Elan filed a complaint with the ITC, alleging Apple’s products, including the iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad and MacBook, stole its patent involving the use of two fingers to perform operations on a touch pad or touch screen.

In May this year, the ITC Chief Administrative Law Judge issued a preliminary decision against Elan. The Taiwanese firm requested a review of the decision.

Earlier this week, the ITC upheld the preliminary ruling. After the news surfaced, Elan shares fell 0.61 percent to end at NT$32.60 (US$$1.13) on the Taiwan Stock Exchange on Friday, even though the benchmark weighted index closed up 1.0 percent.

Market analysts said investors were disappointed with the latest ITC ruling, adding the market had previously expected Elan would win and collect as much as US$100 million in compensation.

Last year, touch applications accounted for about 30 percent of Elan’s sales. The portion is expected to rise to 50 percent this year, according to the company.

While it lost to Apple in the latest ITC decision, Elan said its district court filing in northern California is still being considered. That lawsuit also accused Apple of infringing upon the same patent.

Last year, Apple’s iPhone generated about US$25 billion in sales, while the iPod posted US$8.3 billion in revenue. The iPad’s sales totaled US$5 billion.

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