Staff writer, with Agencies

Mon, Mar 11, 2013 - Page 14

Elan sues over infringement

Elan Microelectronics Corp (義隆電子), one of Taiwan’s integrated circuit designers for touch device use, has sued a Chinese company for alleged patent infringement in a Beijing court.

In a statement released on Friday, the Taiwanese IC designer — which specializes in touchpad module solutions for notebook computers — said that it is suing Suzhou-based Pixcir Microelectronics Co (瀚瑞微電子) and one of its distributors for infringing on a patent related to capacitive touch devices.

Elan said it has asked the court to order the Chinese firms to immediately cease their patent violating activities and pay damages.

The lawsuit was the second in a week initiated by Elan against companies it alleges stole its technology.

On Thursday, Elan said it filed a complaint with Taiwan’s Intellectual Property Court alleging that Egalax Empia Technology Inc (禾瑞亞科技), another Taiwanese IC designer, infringed its capacitive touch IC patent.

Elan settled a patent infringement complaint it made against Apple Inc last year, with the California-based company agreeing to pay US$5 million to the Taiwanese firm.

Optical sector sees record sales

Sales of precision optical components hit a historic high last year, on stronger demand from big-name mobile device and camera companies, the Photonics Industry and Technology Development Association (PIDA, 光電科技協進會) said on Saturday.

Optical components generated NT$80.7 billion (US$2.7 billion) in revenue last year, a rise of 6 percent annually, as business was boosted by companies such Apple Inc, which rolled out new smartphones and other devices, the association said.

The association also attributed the stellar sales figures to expansions by Taiwanese contract manufacturers into producing lenses for mobile phones and for Japanese camera maker Canon Inc.

Taiwan managed to ride the wave of strong demand for lenses used in smartphones and digital cameras, which guaranteed the stable growth of the optics industry amid a sluggish global economy, PIDA said.

Mobile phone camera lenses are projected to account for a greater portion of sales in the optics sector at 48 percent, the association added.

Foxconn sees 49% fall in sales

Foxconn Technology Co (鴻準), a Hon Hai Group (鴻海) subsidiary that produces metal casings for Apple’s iPhones and iPads, on Friday reported consolidated sales of NT$5.85 billion for last month, down 49.92 percent from a month earlier, and a drop of 22.78 percent from the previous year.

The company’s consolidated sales for the first two months of the year rose 20.18 percent year-on-year to NT$17.53 billion.

With the global gaming console business entering its low season, Foxconn’s sales for the quarter ending March 31 could fall more than 30 percent from fourth-quarter sales of NT$55.38 billion, according to analyst forecasts.

Firms join Vietnam coffee fair

Taiwanese firms are promoting coffee which was grown in Vietnam at an international coffee festival.

The festival opened on Saturday in Buon Ma Thuot, the capital city of Dak Lak Province in central Vietnam.

Nearly 200 Vietnamese and foreign coffee businesses set up 725 booths to promote their products at the event.

The festival is held every two years to promote Vietnamese coffee and boost coffee exports and will run through March 12.

China inflation to stay steady

China’s inflation could be kept under control this year, making it difficult to predict whether the central bank will need to increase interest rates, Bank of China Ltd (中國銀行) president Li Lihui (李禮輝) said.

The world’s second-largest economy is in “steady mode” and recovering, Li said in an interview in Beijing, where he was attending the annual session of the National People’s Congress, the country’s legislature.

“The consumer price index will still be controlled relatively well this year,” Li said. “Our projection is that it can be maintained at about 3 percent.”

“Under this scenario, it’s hard to say at this point whether the central bank will need to raise interest rates,” he added.