Taiwanese news agencies are reporting that Apple has agreed to pay Elan Microelectronics $5 million as part of an out of court settlement of the two companies’ ongoing patent infringement case. The companies also agreed to exchange access to one another’s patent portfolios, giving Apple license to use the patents in question, and giving Elan similar access to Apple’s patents.
Elan, a tech company that focuses on touchscreen technology, sued Apple in 2009 for violation of two of the company’s patents. In June of last year, the U.S. International Trade Commission ruled that Apple had not violated any American laws.
Settling this suit lightens Apple’s legal load by only a small amount. The company is currently embroiled in a number of patent infringement actions with Samsung, HTC, and others. Samsung is accused of copying Apple’s phone and tablet designs in its Galaxy line. HTC, meanwhile, was just on the losing side of a ruling by the ITC, which held that the smartphone manufacturer had violated one of Apple’s patents.[Source: Taiwan News]