The Times Online and many other news sources are reporting today that the sale of the iPad and iPhone could be under threat in the US after the US International Trade Commission announced that it was in the process of investigating Apple for allegedly infringing a technology patent. The commission, which has the power to ban the import and sale of products, is investigating Apple following a complaint that was made by Elan Microelectronics, a maker of touchscreens in Taiwan, which has a patent for touchscreen technology that detects the presence of two or more fingers on a touchscreen or touchpad at the same time.
And in case youâ€™re thinking that this is all just pie in the sky, the Times points out that Elan won a similar lawsuit against touchpad tech company Synaptics in 2008. Elanâ€™s compliant against Apple accuses the company of â€œknowingly and deliberatelyâ€ infringing its patent, and itâ€™s also suing Apple on the same grounds.
The Times reports that if Elanâ€™s complaint is upheld by the commission, it could mean an exclusion order banning the US import of Apple products with infringed patents, as well as an order banning Apple from any similar products that were already in the country.
According to the Times, analysts believe that Elan is probably looking to land a licensing deal with Apple.
By Maura Sutton, iPadForums.net