Apple to pay $5 million in patent case

Apple has had to pay $5 million to settle a patent case with Elan Microelectronics which is a Taiwanese touch design company.

In a statement to Reuters,  Elan said that the two companies would also exchange authorisations to use each other’s patents.

The matter started in 2009 when Elan sued Apple in the United States over two patent infringements. Apple responded with a counter-suit.

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) came down in favour of Apple’s case last June and ruled that Apple had not broken US trade law.

It is not clear why Apple backed down in the case and agreed to pay Elan. Elan is not a patent troll. Its integrated circuits are much in demand. Yesterday  Dell announced that it is placing orders with the company to use its chips used in touchpads.

Control of the patents involved with touch integrated chips are going to become crucial later this year when Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system, boosts demand for touch ICs for notebook computers.