We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
78,587 News Articles

Apple pays $5 million to settle Elan patent lawsuit

If patent infringement lawsuits are the soap operas of the tech industry, the news that Apple has paid out $5 million as part of a settlement to Taiwanese company Elan Microelectronics might qualify as a “shocking twist.”

Elan sued Apple way back in April of 2009, alleging that Cupertino had infringed upon two of its U.S. patents covering touch-based technologies. That suit requested that the U.S. government prevent Apple from building or selling iPhones, iPod touches, and MacBooks.

In addition to the $5 million payday, the settlement also gives Elan and Apple the ability to use each other’s patents—an agreement that is potentially far more valuable than the sheer monetary award, which comes to a tiny fraction of a percent of Apple’s extensive cash holdings. Rumors of a settlement first surfaced early last year, with Elan denying it had received a $100 million proposal from Apple.

Elan had also asked the U.S. International Trade Commission to ban imports of potentially infringing Apple products. But, after an investigation, the ITC ruled last May that Apple did not infringe upon Elan’s technology. That decision may have prompted Elan to settle rather than continue to pursue the case.

While this removes one case from Apple’s docket, the company has plenty more ongoing litigation, especially in the realm of intellectual property. Elsewhere, it’s engaged in fierce legal battles with mobile device makers Samsung and HTC, among others.

IDG UK Sites

O2 to sell exclusive red HTC One M8

IDG UK Sites

How to win iTunes Festival 2014 tickets: See Pharrell Williams, Sam Smith, Kylie & more live, for...

IDG UK Sites

Welcome to the upgrade cycle - you'll never leave

IDG UK Sites

Why smartphone screens are getting bigger