updated 09:30 am EDT, Tue April 27, 2010
Victory could block iPhone, other devices
The US International Trade Commission has officially agreed to investigate a patent infringement allegation against Apple, submitted by Taiwan's Elan Microelectronics. The two companies have been involved in a long-running legal dispute, as Elan accuses Apple of violating patents related to multi-touch technology. On the basis of one patent, Elan in late March filed a motion with the ITC to block US sales of infringing products, potentially including the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, MacBook and Magic Mouse.
An Apple spokeswoman has refused to comment. The lawsuit, which is being handled separately by the US District Court for Northern California, should take another step forward when the next hearing is held on June 21st. Apple is unlikely to allow its products to be blocked, given the possible financial damage; as with most such cases on this scale, a settlement and/or licensing agreement is more likely.