from the live-by-the-patent... dept
Given all of this, it was really only a matter of time until the patent litigation began flying over the iPad. Slashdot points us to the news that Elan Microelectronics is seeking to ban the import of iPads into the US via the ever-popular ITC loophole. Amusingly, the whole point of the ITC injunction process is supposed to be to protect American companies against foreign companies importing in patented technology. Yet, in this case, it's a Taiwanese company suing an American company. This seems like a pure money grab, like many of the iPhone patent lawsuits, and once again demonstrates the problems of the patent thicket around mobile devices these days.
The patent in question 5,825,352 is for multi-touch screen inputs, and was apparently originally held by Logitech. Of course, in many ways this really highlights the points we've talked about. What Apple did with the iPhone was quite innovative, but wasn't really that inventive. It took concepts that had been out for a while, including multi-touch, and did something really cool with it: putting it into a compact, mobile device that people really wanted. The other players in the space weren't working on anything like that at all, and now patent battles are simply a waste of time holding back more innovation, rather than letting companies actually continue to come up with the next great thing.