Apple reportedly pays $5 million to settle touch patent case

Written on:January 5, 2012
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At least one of Apple’s patent disputes has come to an end on Thursday, according to the other party in the case. Elan Microelectronics Corp has settled with the Mac maker, the Taiwanese company told Reuters, in a deal that involves a $ 5 million payout from Apple.

Elan had claimed in a Northern California district court filing that Apple’s iOS devices infringed on two multitouch patents the company held. However, last year the ITC disagreed with a similar claim, both in an initial ruling in May from the ITC’s Chief Administrative Law Judge, and then later when the organization upheld that preliminary decision.

Though the company didn’t appear to be doing too well in its attempt to sue Apple, there were murmurs that it had considered appealing the ITC’s ruling, and the ongoing case in Northern California would’ve been a drain on Apple’s resources. Settling for the relatively paltry sum of $ 5 million gets rid of what would’ve been an ongoing, if minor, annoyance.

The cross-licensing deal Elan says came out of the settlement will also ensure Apple doesn’t encounter similar problems with the company again. But since Elan makes multitouch capacitive touchpads for PCs, it could stand to gain insurance against future potential action by Apple for use of some of its patented gestures, although specifics of the licensing deal weren’t divulged.

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