Apple sued for multi-touch patents

In a delicious twist on Apple’s attack on HTC, the company itself is now being sued by a small Taiwanese firm for infringing on its multi-touch patents.

Just like Apple, Elan Microelectronics Corp. is asking the U.S. trade agency to ban the import and sale of both the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad due to patent infringement.

Elan’s complaint filed with the U.S. International Trade Commission in Washington claims Apple “knowingly and deliberately” used Elan’s technology, while continuing to introduce infringing products, the company claims in the complaint.

“Our goal is to protect our technology and to stop sales of those products in the U.S.,” Dennis Liu, spokesman for Hsinchu, Taiwan-based Elan.

Elan makes chips and touch-screens, and has previously won against Synaptics Inc. in 2008 in Federal Court in California, claiming they infringed the same technology and has previously also sued Apple in April 2009 in federal court in California claiming infringement of the same patent.

Apple declined to comment.

More at BusinessWeek here.

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