Apple sued over iPad multi-touch technology

Taiwanese outfit Elan Microelectronics claims it owns a patent on multi-touch technology which Apple is infringing in many of its products including the upcoming iPad.

The firm has slapped Apple with a lawsuit which urges the US authorities to stop the Cupertino-based electronics giant from selling devices boasting multi-touch screen capabilities, such as the iPhone, iPod, and forthcoming iPad.

Elan Microelectronics filed the complaint with the US International Trade Commission (ITC), just a few days before Apple is all set to ship its highly-touted tablet-format netbook.

The Taiwanese tech company claims it holds patents pertaining to touch-powered input devices capable of recognising input from two or more fingers simultaneously.

“We have taken the step of filing the ITC complaint as a continuation of our efforts to enforce our patent rights against Apple's ongoing infringement. A proceeding in the ITC offers a quick and effective way for Elan to enforce its patent”, Elan said in a statement.

In its complaint, Elan urges the ITC to investigate whether Apple has infringed on its patent, number 7,274,353, and halt the importation to the US of all Apple products governed by patent.