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Apple, MS, LG being sued for touchpad infringement

updated 10:55 am EDT, Sat July 18, 2009

Apple, MS, LG being sued

Apple, Microsoft, LG, and 20 other companies are being sued for patent infringement by Tsera, who claims to have invented the touch pad used in devices such as the iPod classic, the Zune, and the Chocolate VX8500. The patent was first filed in 1999 by Chuang Li and was granted in 2003, following the release of the second generation iPod classic. The patent's wording could lead to the case being thrown out as it describes the technology differently from how the iPod works. The patent states that "no immediate visual feedback is provided as a command pattern is traced, and the user does not need to view the device to enter commands."

Tsera's complaint singles out Apple, suggesting the company knew of the patent since September of 2004. The firm is seeking "enhanced damages, up to treble damages," while the other companies being sued are being asked for standard damages to be returned. The lawsuit also demands the defendants "pay a compulsory future royalty" to continue using the touch pad in their devices.

Apple has previously faced two other lawsuits claiming patent infringement, though neither of the cases involved the touch pad.

by MacNN Staff





  1. Nemco

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Sounds trollish

    Hmm... by the time the patent was awarded, Apple had already implemented similar techniques in their iPods. I don't know how that stands in court, but this whole business sounds troll-like. If your patent was awarded in 2003 and you allegedly warned an infringing company in 2004, why then would you still wait until 2009 before taking action?

  1. Lebensmuede

    Joined: Dec 1969


    iPod Shuffle

    Well, now we know why the traditional iPod Shuffle always had a clickable interface, because otherwise it would have infringed on the patent...

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    ReL sounds trollish

    It doesn't date back to when it was awarded. You get rights to when it was filed (since filing is a public act, you would need that, otherwise all those patents Apple files for could easily be stolen and used before Apple gets awarded the patent).

    And while the patent might be week on the iPod, I'd be a little more worried about the iPhone and gestures. Although that's not a 'touchpad', so who knows.

    But should it surprise anyone the company is in Texas, and they have no known presence in the world. Or that it took them 5 years to sue (if Apple did indeed know since 2004).

  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    litigation lottery

    would be interesting to know if the filed in that east Texas federal court which is so notorious for ridiculous damage awards.

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